Building Community, One Yard at a Time

Building Community, One Yard at a Time

photo via StreetEasy

From the Wall Street Journal, a tale of two backyards.

When Michael-John van Rhyn and Mallory Loehr bought their brownstone town house at 167 Sixth Ave. in Park Slope in 2007, they were confronted with an overgrown and decrepit backyard. But they saw the potential to create something unique: a piece of suburban bliss in Brooklyn.

And so, the Journal reports, the pair got to work. In the process, they discovered that at one time, their yard had connected to the yard next door — a configuration they set out to recapture. With the neighbors on board, van Rhyn and Loehr used a low picket fence to gently demarcate the properties.

“Twenty-five years ago, all the kids wandered the yards and had a good time. We have in essence reinitiated that,” says Mr. van Rhyn. “It’s a wonderful sense of community that’s incredibly rare.”

Into it? The house — which was also featured in the Noah Baumbach’s very Park Slope 2005 coming-of-age movie, The Squid and the Whale — is on the market for $3.45M.


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