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The Stories Your House Could Tell: 725 Rugby Road

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  725 Rugby Road: On the Road to Recovery   1940: 725 Rugby Road (Waldorf Court on Right) On Tuesday morning, August 4th, Hurricane Isaias tore through West Midwood, upending trees and ripping countless limbs and branches from our stock of aging London Planes. A number of cars and properties were damaged, but the hardest hit was the house at the corner of Waldorf Court and Rugby Road which Walter and Marilyn Levin Cuff have called home for the past 40 years. Winds gusting over 80 mph toppled a tree across the street, which fell onto another, crashing it into their enclosed porch, ripping huge holes. Then, as the rain and wind ended, Walter took a terrible fall, injuring his hip, and wound up in Lutheran Hospital.   Now, as the holidays approach, the Cuffs and their home are mending, so we thought this might be a good time to take a look back...way back... Sep 16, 1904: Brooklyn Eagle       In September 1904 John R. Corbin and his architect Benjamin Driesler filed with the Bui

The Stories Your House Could Tell: 667 Argyle Road

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  In 1897 Christian Baur, then 48, teamed up with a much younger John R. Corbin to build homes in the first Brooklyn “suburban development,” Vanderveer Park, now East Flatbush. Five years later Corbin, apparently tired of dealing with customers, disappeared into a factory he built at Flatbush Avenue and Avenue I, alongside the LIRR railroad tracks, to pioneer the mass production of pre-cut standalone houses, eventually populating most of West Midwood and Midwood Park with his handywork. Baur was no slouch either: together with his architect son George, he erected a dozen homes in landmarked Midwood Park and Fiske Terrace.  1897 Brooklyn Eagle Ad By 1905 Christian Baur had already created the home he would soon retire to, at 2320 Foster Avenue (worth a walk just to ogle his playfully designed garage). But there was one last major project to finish before handing the reins to his son: erecting most of the homes on Argyle Road between Foster Avenue & Glenwood Road. While his former pr

The Stories Your House Could Tell: 659 Rugby Road

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1940 659 Rugby Road By Joe Enright In July of 1903 Captain Frederick C. Dennington, a Spanish-American War veteran, fixed his compass and stretched his chains along Rugby Road. He was standing just south of what had once been a small rural lane that served for 240 years as the southern boundary of the old town of Flatbush, or what the original Dutch settlers called Midwout. Beyond that lane a thick grove of oaks teeming with birds, known as Lott’s Woods, had beckoned generations of adventurous lads. But now the landscape was being rapidly transformed. The lane, Foster Avenue, had recently been enlarged to an 80-foot wide thoroughfare and the trees and brush of the woodland had been leveled, with all the branches and stumps buried in the middle of rectangular blocks of empty land which right now needed the services of a City Surveyor.  1891 Map: Lotts Woods in Green, Stradling Rail Lines Captain Dennington’s view eastward from an empty Rugby Road would have encompas