Neatly carved out of rural farmland at the turn of the last century, Brooklyn’s Ditmas Park neighborhood, located just south of Prospect Park, is probably the most architecturally unique neighborhood in all of New York City. What sets it apart is not simply the rows of grand, single-family Victorian homes, wrap-around porches and gracious front yards that line its leafy streets, but also that no two of its homes are exactly alike. When you emerge from the subway “it feels like you’ve left the city entirely,” said Elliman’s DeAnna Lenhart, who has lived and worked in the neighborhood since 2004.
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The Architecture: The most notable aspect of Ditmas Park, and what makes it unique among its peers, is the proliferation of single-family Victorian, Queen Anne and Colonial Revival style homes throughout the neighborhood. Built at the turn of the 1900’s, each home is unique in design and protected by The Ditmas Park Historic District designation, established in 1981 to preserve these masterpieces. If it’s a quiet setting you’re after, but you’ve no need for a full-size home, Lenhart says not to worry. “What a lot of people don’t realize is that there are plenty of coops sprinkled throughout the neighborhood.” And a bonus? “Compared to other neighborhoods, they are quite large.”
The Food: Over the last several years Ditmas Park has emerged as a foodie destination rivaling the best of Brooklyn. Cortelyou Road is the neighborhood’s main drag and includes its largest concentration of cosmopolitan restaurants and bars. “There’s a little something for everyone,” said Lenhart, naming Purple Yam and Lea among the must-trys.
The Community: Ditmas Park’s suburban vibe comes from more than just the well-kept homes and plush lawns, it is also steeped in its community. The neighborhood’s greenmarket is open year-round, offering the opportunity to shop and dine on locally grown fare no matter the season.
The Location: “People see the trees and the grass and they think they’re hours away from Manhattan, and that’s just not the case,” said Lenhart, who points out that Ditmas Park sits directly on the Q and B lines which get into midtown in under 40 minutes. “Part of the beauty of living in Ditmas Park is you get the benefits of suburban life and you’re still just a short commute away from Manhattan.”
The Park: Sharing designers with Central Park, Prospect Park serves much the same purpose as its sister; an oasis for the city weary. Ditmas Park is located nearest to Prospect Park’s famous watercourse, ideal for bird watching and other pleasures.
Search elliman.com for homes available in Ditmas Park.