Adjacent to Brooklyn's Williamsburg and Greenpoint neighborhoods, Ridgewood became a destination for German Americans as their fortunes improved and they moved away from the crowded areas to the west. The district includes over 210 buildings, most of a consistent typology and style. The structures are typically three-story brick tenement buildings constructed between 1911 and 1912 by the G.X. Mathews Company, according to designs by Louis Allmendinger. These “new law” tenements were known as “Mathews Model Flats” and featured improved sanitary facilities. Stylistically, the buildings are distinguished by their yellow and burnt-orange brick facades, cast-stone details, ornate pressed metal cornices, and stoop and areaway ironwork.
The buildings were constructed of speckled Kreischer brick, with load-bearing masonry walls. They feature refined detailing, including corbelled, contrasting, and patterned brickwork, pilasters, and cast stone coursing. Many of the structures feature the same facade design, with Romanesque Revival-style arches of contrasting brick and cast-stone details. The mid-block buildings are recessed to add visual interest. Other details include cast-stone entablatures in neoclassical styles and pressed metal cornices. Many feature original ironwork at the stoop and areaway. The district includes the complex of St. Matthias Roman Catholic Church, with its cathedral, rectory, school and convent. The four buildings are architecturally congruous with the rest of the area, and feature facades of pale-yellow or amber brick. The church/school building (1909) was finished first and was designed by the prominent architect F.J. Berlenbach. ©2014