The Leaning Brownstone – Brooklyn, New York - Atlas Obscura

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The Leaning Brownstone

This unusual apartment building may be Brooklyn's own version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. 


Walking past 633 Union Street, you may not notice anything’s amiss at first. But if you step back and take another look, you may notice that the building is off-kilter. A closer inspection also shows mismatched brickwork that curves slightly inward on the right side. An awning on the front of the building identifies it as the Leaning Brownstone.

Despite its name, the building is not a brownstone, as it is not a townhouse made of brown sandstone nor was it built during the period they were popular in New York. It’s a red brick four-story apartment house built in 1931. It’s located just east of the Gowanus Canal.

According to the NYC Department of Buildings, the structure is in no danger of collapse. But that doesn’t mean that everything is peachy-keen for residents of the Leaning Brownstone. Pictures and curtains are always crooked, wheeled chairs roll and their table and bed legs may not always touch the floor. But the building still has its renters thanks to its trendy location and price.

Know Before You Go

The Leaning Brownstone is on the north side of Union Street, about two blocks east of the Gowanus Canal. The R train is located half a block away on 4th Avenue. 

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