Join New York Adventure Club for an exclusive look inside the iconic and privately owned “Japanese House” in Prospect Park South’s Victorian Flatbush, an authentic Japanese-style house built in 1903 with the purpose of attracting attention to the newly developed neighborhood.
Led by the current homeowner, our experience at one of New York City’s most unique properties will include:
- An overview of the history of the house and neighborhood.
- The full story around the homeowner’s successful drive to attain landmark designation for the Japanese House and neighborhood in the 1970s.
- A tour throughout the first floor with its Asian-inspired décor, including the living room, parlor, dining room, and kitchen.
- A discussion around several notable pieces inside the house, including the original fireplace with hand-crafted dragon sculptures.
Click here to see pictures from one of our last visits to the Japanese House!
About the Japanese House
In 1899, developer Dean Alvord purchased 50 acres of Flatbush land for residential development. Prospect Park South was designed to be a high class suburban enclave, a rural park for the rich. He re-named the numbered streets with English sounding names, like Albemarle, Buckingham and Marlborough, laid out park malls, planted lots of trees and put up brick gateposts at the entrance to PPS.
He researched Japanese architecture, and was aided by three Japanese artisan/builders who oversaw the building, interior and garden. The house ended up costing more than any other house in the development, and Alvord wanted to play up the novelty and the uniqueness of the house as an advertising tool. It was a successful campaign.
The house is a large stucco covered box with Japanese brackets, bargeboards and an upturned roof. Chrysanthemums decorate the facade, and today the house is quite striking in the colors chosen to highlight the Japanese details, although period postcards show a more subdued use of color. The interior carried the Japanese theme further, with hand painted Japanese designs and carvings on the fireplaces and ceilings. The dining room had leaded glass windows with a dragon design.
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