Butcher Brownstones (Thursday Doors)

we know our
progenitor, our
date of birth–
our thresholds
have been traversed too many
times to remember—

but no one
has bothered to write
about our
inner lives–
multitudinous stories
behind every door

These three brownstones, designed by architect Frederick G Butcher in 1889-91, are the only three references to his architecture I could find in my research. I really like the decorative stonework above the doors and windows on the right two houses, which are twins. Why Butcher chose a completely different design for the third one is a mystery.

That house was recently sold for almost six million dollars and converted back to a single family house, so the facade may have been slightly altered–but I imagine not too much, as it’s inside the Landmark District. I looked at the interior online and there don’t seem to be that many original details left on the inside. I’m glad at least the decorative ornamentation above the door remains.

The two arched doors are much more appealing to me. Both of these houses are rentals; one has two duplex apartments and one has six apartments. From the rental listings I found, it looks like they both still retain some of their original interior woodwork, even though they’ve been divided up.

There’s a stained glass insert in the arch of the window on #175.

The ornamentation between the sets of upper windows appears to contain dragons or perhaps sea serpents. Each one is slightly different.

I could find no juicy details on past residents for these two houses–hence my poem, which answers David’s W3 prompt for “a poem from the perspective of an inanimate household object, using personification.” I’m sure he knew I would be using a door.

And visit Dan Antion, the host of Thursday Doors, here, to see more doors and add some of your own.

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About memadtwo

For more madness, follow me on Instagram @h_zimel methodtwomadness is a blog of two friends, Nina and Kerfe kblog is Kerfe's solo branch on the tree

43 responses to “Butcher Brownstones (Thursday Doors)”

  1. Dan Antion says :

    The difference between the two on the right and the third is amazing. I think if I had a spare $6 mil, I would have tried to get one of the better looking ones. I love that stone work. Your poem captured my imagination nicely.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. D. Wallace Peach says :

    That is interesting that he designed the buildings so differently. It does make me wonder why. The stonework is beautiful and I enjoyed your personification poem, Kerfe. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Suzette Benjamin says :

    I enjoyed your share. The poem asks a deep question about the essential inner self, profound.
    The above door decorations in the first two seem set off the doors beautifully.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. merrildsmith says :

    I prefer the arched doorways, too. Perhaps the other one is different because someone requested it. It’s fun to speculate about what went on behind the doors. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Teagan Riordain Geneviene says :

    Wow, that’s quite a difference. It is surprising, even if it was from the preference of a client. I love the stonework too. Hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. D. Avery @shiftnshake says :

    “multitudinous stories
    behind every door”

    That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Thanks again for the Thursday tour and stories about the doors you share.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. murisopsis says :

    Love it!! I imagine those doors have multiple lifetimes of stories to tell….

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Liz Gauffreau says :

    To paraphrase the Bard, these doors are such stuff as fiction is made on.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. sustainabilitea says :

    I also like the arched doors and windows. I sometimes wonder too about the lives of people inside the houses that I see, especially the interesting houses.


    Liked by 3 people

  10. boundlessblessingsblog says :

    Your poem was awesome, Kerfe and the houses are quite interesting.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. JosieHolford says :

    One of the many things I enjoy about these posts is trying to identify the location and then looking for the historical record of what they looked like in 1940. Two challenges in this: Identifying the location and then finding the record.

    Liked by 2 people

    • memadtwo says :

      Thanks Josie. There’s usually a link (here to the real estate listing) that gives the exact address. Where do you look for historical records? Google does not seem too keen on providing those, but I am always interested as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. ben Alexander says :

    I wouldn’t say I “knew” Kerfe, but I did “suspect” that you would! 😀

    And, as always, you did not disappoint!

    I love these posts of yours because I almost feel like I’m there with you on your walks ❤


    Liked by 1 person

  13. Brenda's Thoughts says :

    Amazing interior! I, too, much prefer the arch doorways and especially the stained glass insert. Beautiful. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. wordsandcoffee1 says :

    Lovely! I like the stained glass.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Patricia Furstenberg says :

    What an extraordinary tale and quite full of mystery . Love these three Butcher doors with their stone walls, but mostly the stained glass window.
    Thank you for digging 😊🍀

    Liked by 1 person

  16. paeansunplugged says :

    Wow! Most of us wrote facile verses, this is deep and profound, Kerfe.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. ben Alexander says :

    hi, Kerfe ❤

    I just wanna let you know that this week's W3 prompt, hosted by the amazing Michelle Ayon Navajas, is now live:

    W3 Prompt #46: Wea’ve Written Weekly

    Enjoy! 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  18. ben Alexander says :

    Kerfe ~ I just wanna let you know that this week’s W3 prompt, hosted by our beloved Punam Sharma, is now live:

    W3 Prompt #47: Wea’ve Written Weekly

    Enjoy ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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