Chester Court Historic District

STATUS Designated Historic District

16 Chester Court

ARCHITECT: Peter J. Collins

DATE: 1911-12

STYLE: Tudor Revival

Brooklyn Tudor Revival

Designation date: December, 2014

The Chester Court Historic District consists of a picturesque assemblage of 18 Tudor Revival style houses set in two opposing rows along a cul-de-sac, along with an original brick wall that terminates the block. It was designed and built in 1911-12 by Peter J. Collins (1866- 1934), a prominent Brooklyn architect and developer who was born and raised in Brooklyn and served as the borough’s Superintendent of Buildings.

Although the Tudor Revival was well established in Brooklyn by this time as a style for freestanding houses, it had not been widely used for row houses, and the Chester Court houses are likely among the earliest Tudor Revival style row houses in the borough, if not the entire city. Their design was inspired by the renowned timber-framed “black-and-white” or “magpie” buildings of Chester, England, which primarily date from the 16th and 17th centuries, and from the “Black-and-White Revival” of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Chester Court’s houses are faced with Flemish-bond red brick at their first stories and stucco with false half-timbering above, alternating square-headed and round-headed openings at their first stories and angled and straight-sided oriels at their second stories. They remain remarkably well-preserved, as all of the houses retain their original clay-tile roofs and many retain their historic wood doors.

The wall at the end of Chester Court, which is attributed to Collins, screens out the adjacent Brighton subway line and contributes to the sense of the district as a distinctive self-contained enclave. Constructed of red brick matching that of the Chester Court houses, it features Flemish-bond pilasters and recessed decorative panels laid in English bond.

Today, Chester Court remains the inviting small street envisioned by Peter J. Collins more than a century ago, an unusually early grouping of row houses inspired by English medieval architecture that is strikingly unchanged from its early-20th-century appearance.

*Excerpt from Landmark Preservation Commission Designation Report

STATUS Designated Historic District

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Doreen Gallo: DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance

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Fern Luskin: Lamartine Place Historic District; Friends of Lamartine Place & Gibbons Underground Railroad Site

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“HDC provided guidance and shared information during that process—we knew which Council members were going one way or another and we changed a few minds. I don’t think NoHo would have had as cohesive a district had it not been for HDC’s aid.”

Zella Jones: NoHo Historic District; NoHo East; and NoHo Extension

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Erika Petersen: West End Preservation Society

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"HDC has begun a series of projects to highlight the Bronx's architectural and cultural history. From booklet's and research highlighting specific sites and historic districts to the HDC's symposium in October 2018 to the latest community-based committee to look into further possible sites to qualify for landmarking, the HDC has established projects that will serve the Bronx community well."

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Bronx Music Heritage Center, Co-Artistic Director

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