Victorian Brownstones

Many brownstone interiors are a Victorian wonderland.

Steve Gross and Susan Daley, photographers who keep an atelier in Manhattan, took these photos in well-preserved brownstones. 

From West Virginia to Boston and Chicago—but nowhere as prevalent as in Brooklyn and Manhattan—row houses clad in sandstone present dark, imposing façades. Their flat fronts, bays, or bows form a rhythmic wall in the streetscape. 

Wedgwood-like colors complement original cast and moulded plaster. 

Gross & Daley

A touch of whimsy might be seen in a transom fitted with curlicue stained glass, or a storybook head carved into the stone. Inside, though, these Victorian-period houses dazzle with materials now considered rare and fine, rendered—often by immigrant labor—with finesse and expertise: three-coat plaster with a hard finish and crown mouldings run in place; encaustic tile; nine-foot-tall pocket doors of walnut or oak; etched glass panels; grand staircases; and hardwood parquet flooring.

The woodwork is often complex and gorgeous, especialy in stairhalls and parlors. 

Gross & Daley

A good resource:

Oriels and bays in a Brooklyn brownstone row. 

Gross & Daley

See inside an 1890 Brownstone home.

Ornaments may be neoclassical or exotic. 

Gross & Daley

The encaustictile hearth survives in a Hoboken brownstone.

Gross & Daley

Tags: OHJ June 2021

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