Ditmas Park is one of several suburban neighborhoods built on the old farms of Flatbush after the opening of the Brooklyn, Flatbush, and Coney Island Railroad (now the Brighton Line of the BMT/IND) in the 1880s. Development of the neighborhood began in 1902 by realtor Lewis H. Pounds, who purchased a part of a large farm that had been owned by the Ditmarsen family since the late seventeenth century. A land of high ridges, valleys, and no roads, it was leveled and divided according to a grid plan. Pounds established many restrictive covenants, dictating the types of houses constructed and the architectural styles used, in order to preserve the suburban character of the area. All of the houses were originally single-family, two-story structures with attics, fronted by deep lawns and sidewalk malls with shrubs and flowers.
Most of the houses in Ditmas Park represent a free adaptation of colonial architecture, whose revival in the late nineteenth century was preceded by more than a decade of intense interest in seventeenth and eighteenth century traditions. Finished in clapboard and shingle, the houses are notable for the nostalgic adaption of such elements as hipped and peaked roofs, dormer windows, columnar porches, splayed lintels, and Palladian windows. Later buildings include Tudor Revival houses with pseudo-half-timbered gables, brick siding, and leaded windows. Ditmas Park also contains the Flatbush-Tompkins Congregational Church (1910), considered to be New York City's finest Georgian Revival religious building. ©2014