The impressive 9-acre Monsignor McGolrick Park, an urban oasis tucked between Williamsburg and Long Island City, is surrounded on all four sides by vintage row houses from fine to funky.
The park has been there since the 1893, a welcome leftover from the City Beautiful movement the swept the nation in the last decade of the 19th century, but I had never been there until an errand took me to Greenpoint this afternoon.
Established as Winthrop Park and renamed in 1948 for a beloved local priest who was instrumental in the creation of a new church, convent, rectory, hospital, school and playing field for the neighborhood, it’s a classic late Victorian New York City park, with wrought iron fences, wooden benches and towering sycamores.
Though McGolrick Park is new to me, savvy folk have already pushed the prices of even the vinyl-clad buildings past $1.5 million, and the renovated ones much higher (a minuscule house on the north side of the park, bought for 675K three years ago, turned over recently after being tripled in size for well over $2million).
Russell Street, along the south side of the park, has substantial, well-maintained turn-of-the-century brick and limestone buildings.
A curved Neoclassical pavilion with wooden columns, built in 1910, was restored in the 1980s and is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
On the north side of the park, this row of humble two-story buildings looks like it belongs in another city altogether. Baltimore maybe?
Monitor Street, along the north side of the park, is unusually colorful for Brooklyn.
I love the French blue trim against the terra cotta brick on this tiny house.
This one made me laugh. A bit of Venice in Greenpoint.
A Renaissance Revival school building elevates the architectural tone in the northeast corner of the park.
Among the few grocery stores and restaurants ringing this square of green (visualizing it in summer), there are none you could call upscale…yet.