Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Friday, May 1, 2009

Louis Bonert: 2nd Street, 1894

Next up in our seemingly endless series about Park Slope builder Louis Bonert is this series of five "single flats", from the south side of 2nd Street, just below 6th Avenue:

426-418 2nd Street - unprotected

Our attribution for these buildings comes from the August, 1894 New York Times:

New York Times, August 1, 1894, p. 12 ("Brooklyn Realty Matters")

This row of course exhibits all the classic characteristics of Bonert's flat houses, including the brick-arched top-floor windows, the "Green Man" terra cotta facade panels placed beneath the windows, and the brownstone-faced first floor with inset clustered columns flanking the doorway:





Bonert once controlled property on this side of the street extending all the way to 6th Avenue. A New York Times article in early 1895 notes that Bonert sold property at the southwest corner of 6th Avenue and 2nd Street to the Trustees of St. Matthews English Lutheran Church, which was relocating from Clinton and Amity Streets in what's now known as Cobble Hill:

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 14, 1895, p. 9 ("Real Estate Market")

One suspects that Louis Bonert was a member of the congregation, since the article notes his sizeable subscription of $1,000 toward the $13,000 purchase price.

St. Matthew's Church, previously noted on this blog, was soon erected on the site. The Times article notes that Charles A. Schieren, Mayor of the independent City of Brooklyn in 1894-95, was a Trustee of St. Matthew's Church. Schieren had lost a daughter in childhood and donated a stained-glass window in her memory which was installed in the church building.

Our Bonerts are peeking out from behind the right-hand side of the church in the photograph below:

St. Matthew's English Lutheran Church - unprotected

Finally, the Times article notes that Bonert's broker, John Pullman, maintained his office at 741 Union Street. The address is approximately where "Uncle Louis G's" ice cream emporium appears in the photograph below (blue and white stripes):

5th Avenue & Union Street, northeast corner - unprotected

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