Theses Master's

Solid Brick Homes: The Continuing Row House Tradition of Postwar Brooklyn and Queens

Kling, Jesse

This thesis extends the historical investigation of the New York row house past the Second World War—contextualizing and analyzing its development within concurrent planning and zoning initiatives, outer neighborhood development in Brooklyn and Queens, mid- to late-twentieth century residential architecture, and neighborhood social history. A typical form of New York’s residential architecture since the city’s early history, the speculative row house is a well-studied preservation subject up through the early twentieth century, and recent scholars have further extended the Brooklyn row house’s history into the 1930s.

The built fabric of numerous neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn—including Kew Gardens Hills, Canarsie, and Flatlands—indicates that row house development not only persisted past the Second World War, but remained a widespread architectural form in the city in the postwar era. Enabled by the availability of cheap, still-vacant land within New York’s city limits, the postwar row houses of Brooklyn and Queens are simultaneously products of the auto-oriented growth of mid-century America and the particular tradition of speculative residential development in New York City. As they exist today, these houses tell the stories of architects’ and developers’ responses to postwar suburbanization and of the neighborhoods they transformed.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Historic Preservation
Thesis Advisors
Dolkart, Andrew S.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
July 27, 2022