“Spotless Town” Houses

1423-1454 and 1368-1410 Union Street
Henry M. Congdon & Son

Designed by the same architectural firm as St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (site 12), this block was planned and executed as an upscale development of single-family homes. Congdon designed large, semi-detached homes in the Edwardian English and Flemish Revival styles, creating suburban elegance in an urban setting. The houses, touted for their beauty, were also cutting-edge for the shared amenities introduced by the developer, the Eastern Parkway Company. These included a power plant that pumped central heating to all of the houses and back service alleys for automobiles. The latter was an idea that quickly inspired other developments in Crown Heights South, and is now a distinctive feature of many blocks in the neighborhood, emphasizing the importance of the automobile at the time the neighborhood was being built up. Another amenity that this block enjoyed was gated entry for privacy purposes. This feature gave rise to the nickname “Spotless Town.”