This district contains thirty-six row houses on two half-block cul-de-sacs. The houses, speculatively developed by industrialist Florian Grosjean, form a quiet residential refuge in the midst of bustling Atlantic Avenue. Presumably, Alice Court was named for Grosjean's daughter, and Agate Court for agate-ware, one of the kitchenwares on which his fortune was made. The houses are evocative reminders of the late-nineteenth century residential character of the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, and were advertised as “perfect gems for quiet, refined families.”
The structures are in the Queen Anne style, executed in red brick, brownstone, bluestone, and terra cotta. The mostly two-story facades are individually asymmetrical, but collectively symmetrical over the course of the row. Additionally, the repetition of architectural features and decorative motifs, creates an organized overall composition. The houses display many unique features, including turrets, rustication, patterned terra cotta, and ornate iron work. Several of the structures retain their stained glass transoms, some with an original “peacock” pattern.
The deterioration of the Bedford-Stuyvesant building stock in the 1950s and 1960s was abated in part by the intervention of public/private partnerships, and the regeneration of the area, starting in the 1980s, continues today. Alice and Agate Courts form a well kept residential oasis and still maintain much of their historic and architectural integrity. ©2014