Victorian Flatbush: Its charms find a national audience
This home is part of Victorian Flatbush, but is most assuredly not one of the fixer-uppers This Old House magazine says you can find for under a million bucks. (Photo by Rolando Pujol)
When you mention Brooklyn real estate, people tend to think of the brownstones of Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, and Carroll Gardens.
They dont think of huge Victorian houses sitting on tree-lined streets, but This Old House magazine may help change that after it designated Victorian Flatbush the Best Place for City Slickers to Buy an Old House.
Flatbush is a hidden treasure in our midst and the proximity to midtown is key if you work there. You can get there in under an hour and still have the amenities of a nice single family home, said Deborah Snoonian, senior editor of This Old House magazine.
Its diverse homes, good craftsmanship, and devoted residents helped put Flatbush on top. Flatbush embodies all these qualities, Snoonian said.
The neighborhood still offers fixer-upper architectural gems for less than a million dollars, which the magazine thought was a great deal by New York standards.
Were excited we got the title. I wouldnt say surprised. Theres such neighborhood pride, said Robin Redmond, executive director of the Flatbush Development Corp.
Residents of Flatbush have long known the value of their collection of exemplary homes. The Flatbush Development Corp. has been running house tours of Victorian Flatbush for over 25 years.
The tours are self-guided, as proud home owners open up their homes to give visitors a closer look at the meticulous architecture.
This year, a heat wave hit the same week of the housing tour, but it didnt keep people away.
We had shy of 500 people on the tour on a day of 90 degrees. It was a great mix of people. People came from as far as Connecticut and all over the tri-state area, said Redmond, Youd be surprise how many people liked it. They appreciate and enjoy the care people put into keeping up their houses from the turn of the century.
But Victorian Flatbush is more than just big beautiful houses; it has a true sense of community. There are annual meetings, potluck suppers, and parades.
You move in and youre embraced by the community. Its a place where you can lay down roots, said Redmond.
-- Simone Herbin
More: An Urbanite jaunt through Victorian Flatbush