French Clapboard Houses on East 53rd Street

I wouldn’t have noticed them, except for the plaque.  On East 53rd Street, just east of 2nd Avenue are two more or less ordinary houses with a history.


You can see the plaque toward the center-bottom of the picture.  Here’s a closeup.


It’s a little hard to read, so here’s the text.

“312 East 53rd Street – This wooden house was one of a pair built in 1866, probably by a local builder.  Its mansard roof and heavy door and window encasements, all with bracketed cornices, recall the French Second Empire Style, popular in post-Civil War architecture.  New York Landmarks Perservation Foundation – 1989.”

Well, “clapboard” seems to be nothing more than a board on board siding: that’s pretty ordinary (well…not in Manhattan).  A “mansard” roof is a type of hip roof with the four sides having two different angles (the shortest one being nearly vertical).  It is designed to maximize the attic space.

So, the history of these houses is simply their age.  Well, that’s good enough for me.  They seem to still be used as homes and I have to admit I like the windows.


Explore posts in the same categories: Mid-town, Wanderings

One Comment on “French Clapboard Houses on East 53rd Street”

  1. Raphael Says:

    Hi Sally,I found this from a link Barb put up on Facebook. This sentence is great! If I could write the way I know painitng clapboards, I would create words that stick to the page in perpetuity and possibly brighten someone’s day. My words would slide on the page, smooth and creamy and satisfying. I’m in a six week writing class at Grub Street finally starting that writing of mine that we talked about back in July and my words are certainly not sliding onto the page. The group I’m working with has crazy good feedback. So, so much I don’t know about writing! I don’t even know what I don’t know. Words that stick to the page in perpetuity is now stuck in my head. In a good way.

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