Where in the World is Dennett (Dennet?) Place?

dennett pl lead

Brooklyn’s Dennett Place is just one block long, and the treeless street                     is not much more than an alley.

 

One of the major ongoing controversies that embroil Brooklyn is the battle over how to spell Dennett, the name of one of the borough’s most fascinating streets, Dennet Place. Okay, maybe the controversy isn’t so major, but there is a question there. But, the first question to be answered is, where in the world is Dennett Place? This one-block long, treeless street lies near the southern end of Carroll Gardens, running from Luquer Street to Nelson Street between Court and Smith Streets.

corner house

The houses on Dennett Place are all approximately 18 feet wide x 28 feet deep.

Not much more than an alley, Dennet Place is lined with tiny two-family homes with tiny garden-level apartment doors that almost any adult would have to bend over to go through. The houses are all about 18 x 28 feet with a rear yard of another 17 feet or so. That’s small enough to qualify as quaint, we think.

These homes date to the mid-to-late nineteenth century, possibly to the 1850s. The general feeling is they might have been built to house workers who were building the nearby St. Mary Star of the Sea R.C. Church, which opened around 1855. Then, you could rent a Dennett Place house for $9.00 per month. Today, you can buy one for between $1.5 and $2 million.

dennet vs dennett copy

So, which is it? Current signs use the two-t spelling.

On most maps, this street is called Dennett Place, but some call it Dennet Place (which is why we alternated our spelling above). Complicating things more, some nineteenth century maps exist that refer to it as Bennett Place. A 2012 article in the New York Times spells it with a single “t,” and in our memory there was a street sign on a corner building there that read Dennet Place. Go to there today and the street signs say Dennett Place, which, right or wrong, is good enough for us to use that spelling. There is no record of where the name came from, so there’s no place to get a confirmation.

The other quirky aspect of Dennett Place is the series of small doors on the street-facing side of the stoops. The lane is narrow, as we’ve said, and the sidewalks are, too. The homes consist of a lower-level garden apartment and an upper-level duplex, reached from the street by a stoop. That’s typical of Brownstone Brooklyn, but usually, the stoops are built to rise straight in from the street, and the garden-level apartment is accessed by a door under the stoop. On Dennett Place, however, because the sidewalks are so narrow, the stoops were built to rise across the face of each property rather than straight in from the street, and the doors to the lower apartments go straight in from the street under the stoops. Because the height of the stoops here is less than on other blocks, the under-stoop entrances had to be built to fit, which is pretty small. We’ve never had the opportunity to see into an open stoop door, but we assume there are steps leading down to the garden-level apartment.

The block is very well kept, the buildings mostly spotlessly clean and recently painted. In one of the most popular and posh neighborhoods in the borough, even many residents are unaware of Dennett Place. It is truly one of a kind in a borough filled with off-the-beaten-path gems. Should you come to Brooklyn to see them, Dennett Place must be near the top of your list.

 

small doors composite copy

Dennett Place’s most interesting feature is the series of tiny, under-the-stoop doors that provide access to the garden-level apartments. They’re only about four and one-half feet high.

 


 

Red Hook Sales Listings Available – For the Moment!

156 Conover Lead

The open living space at 156 Conover Street.

 

Still-rustic Red Hook is one of our favorite neighborhoods in Brooklyn. The area retains much of the look and feel of its historical industrial past, with rows of brick warehouses along the waterfront, a number of cobblestone streets to rattle your teeth as you drive through, and a quaint housing stock of small brick row houses and shopping districts lined with Mom and Pop stores and restaurants.

156 Conover Lvg, Outddr sps

The living space and private yard at 156 Conover St., #2.

We currently have two sales listings in this gem of a neighborhood, a condo at 156 Conover Street and a two-family house at 106 Pioneer Street. The Conover Street condo is described as an “expansive, loft style, pre-war condo in the heart of Red Hook” with “high ceilings, original wide-plank wood floors, exposed brick and outdoor space…. this triple-exposure, sun drenched apartment has an airy, flexible and open floor plan allowing you to create a unique space that is all your own.” It comes with a deeded private yard.

If you have an attraction to loft-style living, this Conover Street condo could be of strong interest to you. It is open end to end, with windows on three sides. The bedroom is huge at 12′9ʺ and just more than 23′ long. Its current industrial-looking exposed brick walls are in keeping with the neighborhood’s historical past. Running perpendicular to the living area, the bed can be placed well out of sight while keeping the entire space open to the natural light flooding in from the four windows in the bedroom. The wide-open combined living/kitchen/dining room is more than 35′ long and 15′+ wide. All in all, this is a terrific apartment at an aggressive price point.

Virginia Dobles is the listing agent for this unit. Call her at 718-208-9502 for more information.

156 Conover Flrpln 500w

The floor plan of 156 Conover St., #2. Both rooms are extraordinarily large.

The listing for 106 Pioneer Street is just as attractive: This is a “Prime Red Hook two-family townhouse with a private garage. Tucked along the vibrant Red Hook waterfront and community, this multi-family townhouse puts you at the heart of this wonderful neighborhood. It sits on a 16.67′ x 100′ lot, with plenty of room for adding height or depth, for those with time, money, and a vision.

106 Pioneer St 350w

106 Pioneer Street is a lovely townhouse with a lot of potential.

Or, use as is and immediately begin enjoying incredible views and sunsets by the waterfront, amazing shops, eatery’s, artisan coffee roasters, and wine maker, all within a short distance. This is an opportunity to own a Townhouse on what is considered one of the most charming streets in Red Hook. This Multi-Family consists of owners’ duplex with a lower garden rental.

In Red Hook, there is so much to do, to eat, and to drink if you’re so inclined, and the eclectic mix of shops, including of course IKEA, makes this enclave seem less cut off from the rest of Brooklyn than perhaps a destination for the rest of Brooklyn and New York City.

If you don’t yet know Red Hook, you should. If you do, you’ve got two opportunities for you to become a part of this fantastic community. But don’t wait long to check them out. We think they won’t be available for long.

For more information or to schedule a showing of 106 Pioneer Street, call the listing agent Gail Donnarumma at 718-290-7548.