The Brooklyn brownstone rose out of fire – or at least the need to defend against it. Wood houses could be a hazard to neighbors, right on down the block. So in 1852, “Fire Limits” were set in the high density zone of Brooklyn Heights and then they were expanded in 1892. This law outlined streets where wooden houses could not be built, eventually helping to fuel a brownstone mania. This doesn’t relate to 158 Clifton Place, other than helping to confirm it’s construction date – 1883, or about ten years before the law put wood frame houses on ice. There’s a detailed overview of the Fire Limits at The Wooden House Project. Photos: l. 1856 Brooklyn Fire Engine (The Wooden House Project) r. Brooklyn Ice truck (Ditmas Park Corner).
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