Gingerbread in Bay Ridge

This quite fanciful-looking residence has long been called the “Gingerbread House.” Not as fantastical as the house of the same name in Hansel and Gretel, nor as delectably edible as gingerbread houses gracing holiday tables, it nonetheless is a rich curiosity.

The Gingerbread House is located in Brooklyn at 83rd Street and Narrows Road (across the street from Fort Hamilton High School) and is an example of the Arts and Crafts School of Architecture; a whimsical school of design championed by Oscar Wilde and others. The house, built in 1916-17 by J. Sarsfield Kennedy, was quickly referred to as the Gingerbread House even though it’s more properly the Jones’ House after its original owner

Past owners have been tight-lipped about what’s behind all that stone and imitation thatch, which means, of course, rampant speculation! One person claiming to be familiar with the house told the Brooklyn Paper back in ’07 that it “has a bowling alley in the basement and a revolving garage door. All they have to do is push a button, and the entire garage floor shifts so they never have to back out.” Or is that all just a cover story to protect the cast of fairy tale characters hiding in the basement? See for yourself for $12 million. [see interior shots at]:   Curbed

The house, while quaintly charming, looks as out-of-place in Brooklyn as an igloo in the Bahamas; hence, it’s guaranteed to attract attention and surge in market value. I know that it always fascinated me when, as a kid, I use to roam the streets in search of the more incredible side of life. How could I have known that I’d finally see what the inside of this odd sanctuary look like nearly fifty years later while on-line?

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4 comments on “Gingerbread in Bay Ridge

  1. GrayFoxDown says:

    This house was certainly a novelty in Brooklyn. I see by your comment that we weren’t alone in our search for adventure; hence, finding our way to this house. Don’t recall the suit of armor, but it wouldn’t be surprising that there was one inside; at night, the house had the sort of beautiful somberness that required such things. Thanks, Dee, for the feedback.

    • Dee Petersen says:

      THANKS FOR YOUR INPUT…MY CUZ EMAILED ME THIS A.M. SHE ALSO NOTED THE SUIT OF ARMOR….SHE ALSO HEARD THEIR WAS A GORILLA IN THERE LOL I AM SURE THAT RUMER STARTED TO KEEP PEOPLE AWAY……..

  2. Dee Petersen says:

    I MISS BAYRIDGE.. I WOULD GO THERE MORE OFTEN IF THE TRAFFIC WAS NOT CRAZY

  3. Dee Petersen says:

    i rode my bike to this house 2 times a week at age 14….i called it the scary house because at one time there was a suit of armore in the 1st room as you enter…at night it was very scary..i live in l.i. now, but take my frioends on a tour which always included this remarkable house thanks for the history
    i am now 75 and i will always remember this house

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