Ocean on the Park Historic District

189 to 211 Ocean Avenue

Ocean Avenue, a couple blocks west of Lefferts Manor, was mostly built up with six-story apartment buildings capitalizing on the park views and lack of restrictive covenants, but these 12 rowhouses are the exception. The ten limestone-fronted buildings (nos. 193 to 211) were designed in 1909 by Axel S. Hedman for developer Charles G. Reynolds in the popular Renaissance Revival style. These lots were especially deep, extending 150’ to the Brighton Beach rail line, and the architect took advantage by setting the houses well back from the street line and incorporating terraces and landscaped yards. Interestingly, no. 193 was once owned and occupied by Charles Ebbets, owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers and developer of Ebbets Field. The adjacent brick rowhouses were built just a few years later. Civil engineer Philip A. Faribault designed his own home at no. 191 around 1915, while Reynolds commissioned Eric O. Holmgren for the complimentary building at no. 189 in 1917-18. Originally proposed as part of the Prospect Lefferts Gardens Historic District in the 1970s, this district’s designation in 2009 was spurred on by the modern development at no. 185. Until 2008, it was the site of an elegant detached house that was part of the original development. Its sale and subsequent demolition spurred the neighbors to mount a successful campaign to win designation for the remainder of the row, and the empty site itself was briefly considered for landmark status in order for the LPC to guide its redevelopment (the LPC ultimately rejected the designation).