A regular reader wrote in the other day to tell me that the "ugliest house on Strong Place" was up for sale. To which I responded, "Huh? Can there be an ugly house on the ritzy, enclosed, Cobble Hill block known as Strong Place?" I've always thought of the thoroughfare, along with its nearby partner Tompkins Place, as an exclusive enclave of Homes Beautiful.
But sure enough, here was No. 52 Strong Place, the street's ugly duckling, whatever majesty it once had completely masked by a sheet of yellow brick, and whatever handsomeness that brick ever had robbed by years of decay and neglect. It's a dirty house. The stoop is a distressed eyesore. The door and windows are stubby. There are patches on the facades where the brickface has fallen away. And the wall in front of the building appears to have been the victim of either a bad paint job or graffiti.
Perhaps the new owner will restore is to something more fitting its surroundings.