Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Through the Block from Union to President

When we found a Brooklyn Daily Eagle citation for three four-story, four-family flats in Union Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues, south side, we figured the buildings would be easy to locate in our comprehensive photo database of Park Slope:

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 2, 1894, p. 4 ("Real Estate Market")

Sure enough, the photographs confirm that three buildings matching the Eagle description are standing in Union Street today. They are very handsome buildings, of brick with brownstone trim, over a first floor of rusticated brownstone, with all cornices and ironwork intact:

762-766 Union Street - unprotected

Just below in the same Eagle article, there is a description of three identical buildings, attributed to the same builder, Thomas J. Smith, in the north side of President Street, at the same distance east of 6th Avenue:

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 2, 1894, p. 4 ("Real Estate Market")

Consulting the photographs once again, we found three more of these same buildings in President Street, matching their counterparts through the block in Union Street:

749-753 President Street - unprotected

The President Street buildings match the ones in Union Street in every detail, except that one in President Street has lost the original ironwork.

Since the Eagle descriptions match the existing structures, we feel we can safely attribute all six buildings to Thomas J. Smith, owner/builder, 1894. Smith undoubtedly purchased all six lots at once and then erected the buildings simultaneously. Most such building groups are erected in linear rows, but occasionally one finds this kind of discontinuous "through-the-block" configuration.

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