Francis Morrone on Victorian Flatbush

[Updated 18:45 EST: Added link to Francis Morrone's personal Web site.]

The third article about Victorian Flatbush in the past two months has caught my eye. They're all by Francis Morrone, who writes about NYC architecture for the The New York Sun:

The railroad that serves Ditmas Park is the Brighton Line, also known as the Q train, which follows the right of way of the old Brooklyn, Flatbush & Coney Island Railroad, a surface steam railroad eventually purchased and rebuilt by the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company. The BRT decided to run the Brighton Line in an open cut through Flatbush. This hid the train from view in an area ripe for development as a high-class residential district at the turn of the 20th century.

- The Best Balusters on the Block
When the railroad cut was created, they also went from two track to four. Today the outer tracks serve the local stops on the Q line, while the inner tracks serve the express stops of B train, including Church Avenue and Newkirk Avenue. To icnrease the number of tracks, they needed to take land on both sides. This is why the proeprties backing the tracks on the adjacent streets of Marlborough Road (East 15th Street) and East 16th Street are only 75 feet deep instead of the standard 100 feet: they needed an additional 25 feet from each side for the additional right-of-way.


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