Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Complete Blockfront: John J. Deery, Architect

Park Slope boasts many complete blockfronts, designed as a whole for a single client by one architect. Such is the case for the block fronting 7th Avenue between 1st and 2nd Streets, across from P.S. 321:

173-187 7th Avenue - unprotected

According to the American Architect and Building News, with corroborating evidence from the Brooklyn Eagle, the row was built in 1891 for Joseph E. Rogers of Manhattan, and was designed by architect John J. Deery:

173-187 Seventh Avenue (SE corner 1st Street to NE corner 2nd Street)

"Building Intelligence; Stores; Brooklyn, N. Y.," AABN vol. 31, no. 792 (Feb. 28, 1891): p. xviii.
– "Seventh Ave., s e cor. First St., five-st’y brick store and dwell., tin and tile roof; cost, $18,000; owner, J. E. Rogers, 1650 Madison Ave., New York City; architect, John J. Deery, 280 Broadway, New York City."
– "Seventh Ave., n e cor. Second St., five-st’y brick store and dwell., tin and tile roof; cost, $18,000; owner, J. E. Rogers, 1650 Madison Ave., New York City; architect, John J. Deery, 280 Broadway, New York City."
– "Seventh Ave., e s, 25' s First St., 6 four-st’y brick stores and dwells., tin and tile roofs; cost, $12,000 each; owner, Joseph E. Rogers, 1650 Madison Ave., New York City; architect, John J. Deery, 280 Broadway, New York City."

At the southeast corner of Seventh avenue and First street and the northeast corner of Seventh avenue and Second street, two five story brick stores and dwellings, 25x90, nine families in each. Joseph E. Rogers, owner: cost $30,000. -Brooklyn Eagle, January 31, 1891, p. 2 ("New Buildings"). Together with:
On Seventh avenue, near First street, six four story brick store dwellings, 25x70, eight families in each. Joseph E. Rogers, owner: cost $72,000. -Brooklyn Eagle, January 31, 1891, p. 2 ("New Buildings").


The original row comprised eight buildings, in three designs, in an ABBCCBBA pattern. The corner ("A") buildings are five stories each, while the others are four stories; the center two ("C") buildings have double bay windows.

173 7th Avenue (style 'A') - unprotected

173 7th Avenue - detail - pressed tin decoration

177 7th Avenue - style 'B' - detail

181 7th Avenue - style 'C' - unprotected

Architect John Jerome Deery's practice seems to have been based in Philadelphia and to have involved the design of many Roman Catholic church buildings. His biography is posted on the Philadelphia Buildings website, where the Park Slope blockfront is listed amongst his known works.

The block is missing an original building at 185 7th Avenue. The New York Times of March 10, 1928 reports the sale of 185 Seventh Avenue, a six-family flat, in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, so the original building was apparently still standing at that time.

173-187 7th Avenue - unprotected

However, the building is missing in an aerial photograph of Park Slope from the 1950s; the view is to the west and the row is in the lower right-hand corner of the photograph. Sometime between 1928 and the 1950s, this otherwise intact block developed a "missing tooth".

7th Avenue - 3rd St. to 1st St. - view to west - 1950s

The view above also shows the buildings that were later replaced by P.S. 321.

2 comments:

Francis said...

Among Deery's R.C. churches are St. Edward's (1902) in Fort Greene, his only one in Brooklyn, and St. Veronica's on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village.

ChickenUnderwear said...

Thank you so much for bringing the details of this block to my attention. I can't count how many times I got to PS 321 a little early (to pick up my kids) and just leaned on the fence and "looked" at those buildings.