A curious survivor, a freestanding Second Empire mansion at 489 Washington Avenue in Clinton Hill, will soon vanish, to be replaced by an apartment building. Workers were demolishing the upper floors of the already gutted house before Labor Day weekend, knocking holes in the roof and walls.
The faux-stone sheathing is gone, the stoop demolished, and windows and masonry have been removed from the side facades.
The mansard-roofed house is located just outside the Clinton Hill Historic District, and therefore unprotected. Plans call for conversion of the property into a four-story, 21-unit residential building.
This stretch of Washington Avenue, between Gates and Fulton streets, was once scattered with grand 19th century residences on generous lots. In the 20th century, many of the large homes were transformed into religious, institutional or commercial uses. Today, only a few of the houses remain, interrupted by new condos and 20th century apartments.