Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Friday, February 20, 2009

George Keller, Builder

One often finds new building permits listed separately in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, for buildings that were constructed at the same time as part of a group.

Consider the following pair of listings, from April 29, 1892, for two buildings at the northwest corner of 8th Avenue and 11th Street in Park Slope, just outside the current historic district boundaries:

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 29, 1892, p. 2 ("New Buildings and Real Estate")

One expects to find two buildings occupying this corner today. But when one consults the Park Slope Civic Council's comprehensive neighborhood photo database, one finds what appears to be only a single building occupying the site:

569 11th Street - unprotected

Appearances can be deceiving, however. From the perspective of the Department of Buildings, these are two structures. As described in the building permits, this is actually a 17'-wide building containing four "flats", on the left (with a separate entrance under the fire escape), and a 20'-wide mixed-use building (three flats over ground-floor shop) on the corner. The corner building has one entrance to the ground-floor shop, and another entrance, on the 8th Avenue side, to the flats above, a typical configuration for a mixed-use building of this vintage.

The buildings, erected by George Keller in 1892, appear to be in original condition, including the cast-iron pilasters surrounding the store entrance, and the decorative brackets below the wonderful projecting bay above:

The date of construction, 1892, can be seen peeking from the cornice on the 8th Avenue side:

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