A Brief History of the Stoop

Paulus Hook-0039.jpg

A Brief History of the Stoop

The “stoop”, part of the Dutch architectural traditions brought to the “New World”, was originally intended as a sanitary measure to protect against flood waters, street vermin and disease. Re-adopted in the 1900s as a way to separate staff from homeowners via two separate entrances – parlor level and  garden level. 

In the 1920s, based on the migration pattern of families to suburban areas, single-home brownstones were commonly 

converted to multifamily dwellings and the removal of stoops was commonly adapted. Tearing out the stoop and relocating the entrance of the building to the ground floor created more room for separate apartment space. 

Sadly, with this modernization also came the  removal of all of the façade’s historical details. Due to the lack of wealth Jersey City experienced during the 1930’s, these updates were less popular amongst homeowners therefor preserving the original architectural features. These same historical details are now one of the greatest draws of our neighborhood.

As new homeowners return to the city’s brownstones,  they realize what longtime residents already knew  — one of the joys of urban life is stoop sitting.