Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Louis Bonert: 6th Avenue and 3rd Street, southwest corner, 1894

Okay, we concede our last Bonert post was purely speculative in that we could cite no contemporary documentation associating him with those buildings in 6th Avenue between 4th & 5th Streets. Today all speculation is cast aside as we enter what surely must be the Bonert epicenter of Park Slope, the corner of 6th Avenue and 3rd Street.

We turn first to the southwest corner, where we find yet another Bonert ensemble comprising a brownstone-faced mixed-use building adjoining a row of four "single-flat" apartment houses:

6th Avenue & 3rd Street, southwest corner - unprotected

An 1894 New York Times article notes that John Pullman, who seems to have been one of Bonert's favored brokers, had sold off the four flat houses for Bonert:

New York Times, July 24, 1894, p. 12 ("Brooklyn Realty Matters")

Once again in this row we recognize classic Bonert characteristics including:

o Four-story brick "flat houses" adjoining brownstone-faced corner mixed-use building
o Apartments feature three "fancy brick" stories over a brownstone first floor
o Clustered inset Romanesque columns flanking the doorway
o Brick-arched windows at the top story
o Terra cotta panels (including our friend the "Green Man") below the windows
o Continous cornice detail across the entire row

The corner mixed-use building, originally three flats over a commercial first floor, has now sadly been converted to all-residential use. However the building retains scalloped shingles on the circular window bay, below a magnificent conical hat:

6th Avenue & 3rd Street, southwest corner - detail

Old photographs reveal that many of these projecting corner window bays in Park Slope once boasted similar superstructures, now nearly all gone. The one at 6th Avenue and 3rd Street is a rare survivor.

The New York Times in 1894 reported that Bonert traded the corner building to Mrs. Catherine Connor for another, smaller house and for "other considerations".

New York Times, July 26, 1894, p. 3 ("Brooklyn Realty Matters")

Access to the upper stories of the mixed-use building is via a doorway facing 6th Avenue, at the back of the building. Bonert here employs precisely the same classical doorway that he used previously in nearby 6th Avenue, except here executed in brownstone:

6th Avenue & 3rd Street, southwest corner - unprotected

6th Avenue & 3rd Street - detail

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