Conceived in the 1850s by entrepreneur Edmund Brush, the eponymous neighbourhood comprised 24 city blocks totally around 300 Victorian, Second Empire and Romanesque homes, many of them opulent mansions.
But Brush Park’s decline came during the early 20th century, when cars and trolleys made it possible for wealthy residents to live away from the inner city, and was exacerbated by the Great Depression which saw larger homes subdivided into flats.
The post-war decades brought abandonment on a massive scale, though conservation efforts and the classification of Brush Park as a historic district helped preserve some structures. By 2001, just 154 of the original 300 houses remained, the above photograph illustrating the extent of the clearances of abandoned houses that were considered too dangerous or derelict to save. –