Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Louis Bonert, 7th Avenue & 12th Street, 1890

Next up in our continuing series of articles about Louis Bonert, prolific Park Slope builder in the 19th c., are these very handsome buildings at the southwest corner of 7th Avenue and 12th Street:

7th Avenue and 12 Street, southwest corner - unprotected

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle took note of these buildings in February, 1890. Note the slight misspelling of the builder's last name:

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, February 22, 1890, p. 2 ("New Buildings")

In short the ensemble comprises the southwest corner building at 7th Avenue and 12th Street; three adjacent buildings in 12th Street; and one adjacent building in Seventh Avenue. The corner building holds six flats, two per floor, over stores. In 12th Street, two of the buildings are "double flats" (two families per floor), while the third building is a "single flat" (one family per floor). The final building, in 7th Avenue, has three flats over a store. The buildings standing today are exactly as described in the Eagle article.

Again we see some of the characteristic elements of Bonert's buildings in this group: the arched windows on the top floor, here surmounted by brickwork laid in three courses; the faux pediment atop the window bays. We find even the outlines of panels below the top-floor windows:

7th Avenue & 12th Street, southwest corner - detail

The mixed-use (residential over commercial) building on the corner has an angled bay projecting into the intersection, and blocked-up doorways into the commercial space facing 7th Avenue. Most likely the original commercial space was designed to be subdivided into several smaller shops, each with its own entrance. The main, corner entrance retains the original cast-iron pillars flanking the doorway:

7th Avenue & 12th Street, southwest corner - unprotected

7th Avenue & 12th Street, southwest corner - detail

The projecting window bays are distinctive in that they run only from the second floor to the top. Most of the rest of Bonert's buildings feature full-height projecting window bays.

We need to pick up the pace here because we have a lot more Bonert coming your way...

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