Our ongoing series “My sqft” checks out the homes of 6sqft’s friends and fellow New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to the landmarked Ditmas Park home of architectural preservationist Norma Barbacci. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
Michelle Williams’ move to Ditmas Park may have put the neighborhood on the real estate map, but for those in the know, the area’s history is far more profound than any of its celebrity residents. More than a century ago, Ditmas Park was not much more than farmland, but with the arrival of the subway also came interest from developers. One notable developer who descended upon the area was Dean Alvord. In 1899, Alvord initiated a new housing project that he envisioned as a “park in the city” for the rich. What followed was the construction of a range of large and stately suburban-style houses, built in an assortment of styles, from Tudors to Victorians. The development was a great success, and even drew in Manhattan’s upper crust (among them Guggenheims and the Gillettes). However, as New York declined in the 70s and 80s, so did Ditmas Park. But fast-forward a few decades you’ll come to seen an area that is experiencing a revival. Though it admittedly remains quite sleepy when compared to other burgeoning Brooklyn neighborhoods, Ditmas Park’s suburban vibes make it the ideal destination for city-loving families—particularly when its architecturally grand proportions are taken into account.
In this My sqft feature, we check out one urban family’s lovely home, a landmarked wood construction owned by preservation architect Norma Barbacci and her husband, architectural conservator Glenn Boornazian. The pair purchased the house in 2004 and raised two children within its historic walls. Ahead Norma takes us through the space—which maintains most of its 1903 character—and introduces us to the Ditmas Park of 2016.