500–518 Nostrand Avenue
29–33 Macon Street
Montrose Morris, 1889–90
Montrose Morris, a Brooklyn architect, designed his
own residence in Bedford-Stuyvesant and opened it
to the public to advertise his services. His house attracted
Louis Seitz, an investor, who then commissioned
Morris to design the Renaissance Apartments as well as the Alhambra Apartments at 500-18 Nostrand Avenue, 29-33 Macon Street. The single-family rowhouse was the standard unit of housing for middle-class families at the time, while multi-family buildings were limited to often squalid tenements. Both of the Alhambra and Renaissance Apartments are early examples of elegant multi-family dwellings designed to sway public opinion.
The Alhambra is a combination of Romanesque Revival and Queen Anne styles. It features rounded-arch windows, carved brackets, open terra-cotta arcades and a slate-covered mansard roof. Its patterned brick and stone bandcourses and quoins create a polychromatic composition.
The structure was designed with features to attract residents—parquet floors and other decorative materials that mimicked neighboring brownstones. The Landmarks Preservation Commissioned described the Alhambra and Renaissance Apartments (both individual New York City landmarks) as the “most prestigious and impressive multi-family buildings in Brooklyn.”