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(Figure 8) details found throughout the Ridgewood North Historic District. The heavy bluestone stoops, (Figure 9) found on the residential streets in the district, as well as the contrasting rough- faced brickwork, are also characteristic of the style. The symmetrical facades of the Mathews flats buildings are derived from the classically-inspired Renaissance Revival style, which is characterized by light-colored facades; subdued Classical ornament concentrated around the windows and doors; full stone entrance enframements; (Figure 10) glazed, double doors; and simple cornices with Renaissance-inspired motifs such as swags and garland, (Figure 11) all found on buildings within the district.

The buildings on Grandview Avenue and Palmetto Street have Romanesque Revival- style round and segmental arches of contrasting brick, while others feature Renaissance Revival- style carved stone door and window lintels. Other handsome details include Classically-inspired carved limestone entablatures and friezes, pressed metal cornices and original ironwork at the stoop and areaway. The houses on Palmetto Street (Figure 12) in the Ridgewood North Historic District are the earliest examples of fully developed Mathews flats in Ridgewood, a facade design that the Mathews company later used throughout the borough, including Catalpa and Putnam avenues and Cornelia Street in Ridgewood, and 48th Street in Long Island City.

Development of the Ridgewood North Historic District47

According to the late 18th and early 19th century records, the land in the Ridgewood North Historic District was owned by members of the Wyckoff and Debevoise families, whose ancestors included prominent early colonists.48 Early deeds show that Nicholas Wyckoff owned a large tract running west from Fresh Pond Road, and by mid-18th century, the land contained in the historic district was owned by the Debevoise family.

47 This section is based on the following sources: Atlas of the Borough of Queens, City of New York (Brooklyn: E. Belcher Hyde, 1903), v.2, pl. 23; “Brick Leads for Street Paving,” Real Estate Record and Guide (June 13, 1908), 1130; National Register of Historic Places, Stockholm-DeKalb-Hart Historic District, report prepared by Donald G. Presa (Washington, D.C., 1983); New York City Department of Buildings, Borough of Queens, NB 1456-1907, NB 1068-1908, NB 1985-1908, NB 2022-1908, NB 2043- 1909, NB 2044-1909, NB 3152-1910, NB 1228-1914, NB 18934-1925, NB 5445-1927, NB 8374-1928; Real Estate Record and Guide (July 13, 1907), 56 and (October 10, 1908), 695; Heinrich Ries and Henry Leighton, History of the Clay-Working Industry in the United States (New York: J. Wiley & Sons, 1909), 42; Subdivision Map of the Farm of Hamlin Babcock, Newtown, Long Island, surveyed by E.D. Johnson (November 19, 1891); and United States Federal Census: 1910, 1920.

48 Nicholas Wyckoff was a descendant of Pieter Claesen, who came from Holland in 1636 and for a time in 1655 was a superintendent on Peter Stuyvesant’s farm. Claesen took the name of Wyckoff after the ceding of New Amsterdam to the English. He rose to be a man of wealth as well as a magistrate in Flatlands, and like many of his neighbors was a slave owner. The home where he was living by 1667 is a designated New York City Landmark. The Wyckoff farm in Bushwick (Ridgewood) was located just to the west of the Ridgewood North Historic District near the Brooklyn-Queens border. G.X. Mathews developed large portion of this former farm in the first decade of the 20th century, having purchased a number of lots from Peter Wyckoff in many different real estate transactions. (Landmarks Preservation Commission, Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House Designation Report (LP-0001) (New York: City of New York, 1965); Queens County, Office of the Register, Conveyances).

The Debevoise family is descended from Carel de Beauvois, a French protestant (Huguenot) who immigrated to Leyden, Holland and later to New Amsterdam in 1659. Highly respected and well-educated, de Beauvois served as a teacher, and later “‘chorister, reader and schoolmaster’ for the people of Brooklyn,” due to his knowledge of the Dutch language. De Beauvois’ grandson, Carel Debevoise, was the first of the family in Queens, purchasing land in Newtown in 1702. His son, also Carel Debevoise, settled in Bushwick in 1736. Versions of the name include also include De Bevoise and De Be Voise. (History of Queens County, 317-318).


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