Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Monday, May 24, 2010

Reader Questions: 11th Street

Q: any information on the history of the stretch of identical 3 family homes on the north side of 11th St between 7th and 8th from about 535 11th to 547 11th? -benscott

531-547 11th Street compose a fine row of 9 three-family "flat houses" on the north side of 11th Street between 7th & 8th Avenues. Each house is brick-faced, with brownstone trim, and features a full-height, two-sided projecting window bay:

531-547 11th Street - unprotected

531 11th Street

Particularly handsome and well-preserved ironwork runs the entire length of the row:

Unfortunately we have not yet uncovered any announcement of new building plans for this row. What we have found however are several sales listings from the latter half of 1894; local builder James Jack was the seller in most of the transactions. Below are some examples; the full list is in the photo comments here.

(On July 24, 1894, both the New York Times and the Brooklyn Eagle list Jack as the buyer of 539 11th Street. We suspect a clerical error in the Dept. of Buildings that was propagated into both papers. All other 1894 sales transactions for this row cite Jack as the seller.)

New York Times, December 29, 1894, p. 12

New York Times, July 24, 1894, p. 12

New York Times, July 1, 1894, p. 10

This cluster of sales from mid to late 1894 strongly suggests that the row was completed that year, perhaps in the spring or early summer. Also, the fact that James Jack is listed as the seller in most transactions strongly suggests that he was responsible for the row. James Jack was a prolific local builder who lived nearby at 454 9th Street, just above 7th Avenue.

Thus we would attribute this handsome row of three-family dwellings to James Jack, builder, and date the row to 1894. Our limited research funds have not yet enabled us to pull the Department of Buildings files for this block, but when we ultimately do so, we expect the files will confirm the attribution.

N.B. We don't always catch questions submitted to older blog posts. For the most timely response, contact us via the Park Slope Civic Council's website.

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