24 May 2011

Grove Street

In the West Village, where Grove Street bends towards Hudson, stands a row of houses (numbers 4-10) that are a wonderful reminder of New York’s past. The four brick homes, built between 1825 and 1834, represent the typical Federal style of the time. With red facades, small dormer windows, and little if any ornamentation, this simple look was popular on the East Coast at the beginning of the 19th century before the more opulent Greek Revival style took hold. 

I'm quite fond of this style (I did, after all, live in Boston for years where Beacon Hill is filled with Federal-style homes) and like to look for little details that give each house their own unique look. For example, a door knocker shaped like a hand, a design popular during the Victorian era, is a nice complement to the plain green door. 

Next door is Grove Court, which can be seen through the wrought-iron black gate. Originally named “Mixed Ale Alley” because the homes were built for various tradesmen, the houses in Grove Court were considered unusual at the time because they didn’t front the street, something that just wasn’t done. 

Today only residents and their guests are allowed inside the courtyard. I hope to get an invite one day to take a closer look at what appears to be another amazing group of houses.

Photos by Michele.

1 comment:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...