Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Trompe l'oeil Murals in Prospect Place

Before we turn our attention away from Park Slope's murals, note should be taken of some interesting trompe l'oeil work on the south side of Prospect Place between Flatbush & 6th Avenues in the north Slope. The side of the Italianate house at 96 Prospect Place, which overlooks an empty lot, has been enhanced with a bay window:

96 Prospect Place - unprotected

92 Prospect Place also has false windows painted on the side facade:

92 Prospect Place - unprotected

There are additional windows painted on the side of 84 Prospect Place, just visible on the right of the photograph above.

We know nothing for certain about these windows and would appreciate hearing from anyone who does. Email us via the Park Slope Civic Council website, or leave a message in the comments below.

However, a possible clue may be found in the "Murals" entry, written by Greta Berman, in the Encyclopedia of New York City, edited by Kenneth T. Jackson:

Trompe l'oeil was made popular by Richard Haas, whose first mural in the city was painted outside a loft on Prince Street in SoHo in 1974; his later work included a series of storefronts along Mulberry Street and murals for Prospect Place in Brooklyn... [p. 782]

Could the Encyclopedia article be referring to the Prospect Place murals shown above?

Richard Haas has a website wherein he lists his mural work. There are very few listings for Brooklyn, and no listing directly cites Prospect Place. However, the second-oldest listing cites "Brooklyn Gas & Electric, New York City". It is remotely conceivable that Brooklyn Union Gas could have commissioned distinguished muralist Richard Haas to create these murals, in a variation of BUG's "Cinderella" program to invest in Brooklyn's brownstone belt. However, we've looked all over the web and have found nothing (other than the Encyclopedia article) to support this theory.


ChickenUnderwear said...

I am so excited to vote next week at PS 282!

But a question. If this blocked were landmarked would a mural be permitted?

HDEC said...


That's an very interesting question... I'm not sure what the LPC policy is on murals (if there is one). I will try to find out.

-Save the Slope

ChickenUnderwear said...

You inspired me