402 7th St
ca. 1880

Wood frame houses are among the oldest structures in Park Slope. A few can still be found in the neighborhood, especially in its southern area, possibly due to the late implementation of the city’s “fire limits” (the boundary within which it was illegal to erect a wood house).

This example at 7th Street was first recorded on a fire insurance map in 1886. It features elements from the French Second Empire style, which had been the predominant style after the Civil War, although it appeared only briefly in Park Slope. Its typical feature was the slate mansard roof with iron cresting, as well as enframement on windows, moldings, imposing cornices, and double front doors with horizontal panels at knob height and kickplates at the bottom. The arched doorway, however, was often almost indistinguishable from its Italianate predecessor and was crowned by a low arched or triangular pediment.