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See Inside Bed-Stuy's Historic Brownstones on Neighborhood House Tour

By Camille Bautista | October 9, 2015 2:44pm | Updated on October 12, 2015 8:35am
 Brownstoners of Bedford-Stuyvesant hosts its 37th Annual Home Tour on Oct. 17.
Brownstoners of Bedford-Stuyvesant hosts its 37th Annual Home Tour on Oct. 17.
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Brownstoners of Bedford-Stuyvesant

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Learn the stories behind some of Bedford-Stuyvesant’s historic brownstones on a house tour highlighting the neighborhood’s iconic buildings.

Brownstoners of Bedford-Stuyvesant, a civic organization dedicated to the revitalization and preservation of the community, hosts its 37th annual house tour on Oct. 17.

Visitors can get a glimpse inside 12 locations, including the classic architecture of eight homes, as well as a museum, church and local businesses.

The event showcases Bed-Stuy’s detailed brownstone and limestone homes, ranging from modern-style buildings and those “painstakingly” restored by homeowners, according to organizers.

“It runs the gamut, from corner to corner,” said Lynette Lewis-Rogers, president of the Brownstoners of Bedford-Stuyvesant.

“There are some houses with very unique features and great history, ranging from ones with original 1800s features to ones with a 2000 to 2001 build.”

Homeowners will be available to answer questions at each of the sites, along with carpenters and decorators who helped with renovations and construction, Lewis-Rogers added.

The self-guided tour begins at 11 a.m. at Boys and Girls High School, where architecture aficionados can pick up a brochure of participating venues.

Visitors can also attend a free workshop starting at 9 a.m., offered in conjunction with Bridge Street Development Corporation. The group will provide information on how to keep homes “in the family” and transfer ownership to relatives.

Vendors will also be at the high school from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for a “Bed-Stuy Bazaar.”

Brownstoners of Bedford-Stuyvesant formed in the late 1970s as a response to groups of residents departing from the neighborhood, according to members. 

“That’s when it was ‘Bed-Stuy Do or Die,’” Lewis-Rogers said.

“People here who knew Bed-Stuy was an excellent place to live knew it just needed community-minded people to stick with it and help it to grow, to encourage people.”

The annual house tour serves as a means to spotlight the area's beauty, she added.

In past years, up to 900 people have attended, Lewis-Rogers said.

Tickets for the event cost $20 until Oct. 15 and $25 on the day of the tour.

The walking tour marks the end of a week-long celebration, Bed-Stuy Alive!, which highlights the neighborhood’s culture and history.

House tour proceeds will go toward two, four-year scholarships to students graduating from Boys and Girls High School, as well as one scholarship for a graduate of Bedford-Stuyvesant Preparatory High School.

“Some people say ‘We just discovered Bed-Stuy, it’s a gem,” Lewis-Rogers said.

“We’ve always known it’s a gem and we've always know it’s a special place to live in. We're happy to share it with everyone.”

The 37th Annual House Tour takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Advanced tickets can be purchased online or at the following locations:

Brooklyn Swirl, 445 Marcus Garvey Boulevard

Bed-Vyne Wine, 370 Tompkins Ave.

Peace & Riot, 492 Nostrand Ave.

Tickets will also be available Bed-Stuy Alive! Gala Kickoff on Oct. 10, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fulton Street between Brooklyn and New York avenues.