Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

10th Street: 1891 Flats from Louis Bonert

Once upon a time we devoted a huge amount of space on this blog to builder Louis Bonert, the man whose contributions to the physical appearance of Park Slope today cannot be understated. We haven't featured anything from Bonert in a while, but his attributions continue to pile up.

On the south side of 10th Street, between 7th & 8th Avenues, stands a row of 6 three-family "flat houses" (so named because they feature one "flat" or apartment per floor):

574-584 10th Street
Louis Bonert, Owner
Robert Dixon, Architect - 1890-91

According to an attribution from the American Architect & Building News, predecessor of today's American Architect magazine, the row was built in 1891 by Louis Bonert. Prolific Brooklyn architect Robert Dixon provided the plans:

"Building Intelligence; Apartment-Houses; Brooklyn, N. Y.," AABN vol. 30, no. 782 (Dec. 20, 1890): p. xvii.
– "Tenth St., s s, 285' 9" w Eighth Ave., 6 three-st’y brick flats, tin roofs; cost, $4,000 each; owner, L. Bonard [sic - Bonert], on premises; architect, Robert Dixon, 219 Montague St."

All 6 of the original "flat houses" still stand today. Unfortunately, all 6 have lost their original cornices, although in other respects they remain in near-original condition.

We sometimes wonder what term would have been used had people first been accustomed to living in "flats," and then someone invented the house with stairs. Would such an arrangement have been initially called an "upright"?

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