Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Friday, July 30, 2010

1887 Mixed-Use Row in 7th Avenue

On the southwest corner of 7th Avenue and 7th Street stands a fine row of five 4-story, brownstone-faced, mixed-use (flats over stores) buildings that are in near-original condition. According to our research, plans for the row were submitted by the firm of Cozzens and Brown in late 1887. The architect was Isaac D. Reynolds:

294-302 7th Avenue
Cozzens and Brown, owners/builders
Isaac D. Reynolds, architect - 1887

Citations from both the Brooklyn Eagle and American Architect & Building News support the attribution. Note the typo in the AABN listing, which incorrectly places the row on the northwest corner of the intersection, on land occupied by the All Saints Episcopal Church:

Brooklyn Eagle, August 27, 1887, p. 1 ("Falling Off")

"Building Intelligence; Apartment-Houses; Brooklyn, N. Y.," AABN vol. 22, no. 610 (Sept. 3, 1887): p. xi.
– "Seventh Ave., n w cor. [sic - s w cor.] Seventh St., 5 four-st’y brown-stone flats, cor. with store, tin roofs; cost, each, $10,000; owners and buiders, Cozzens & Brown, 377 Fulton St.; architect, I. D. Reynolds."

The corner building features a wonderful, circular corner bay window overlooking the intersection. This bay might have once been surmounted by a conical tower, a part of which still appears below the cornice. Many of the mixed-use buildings in 7th Avenue appear in historic photographs with such tower-like corner embellishments:

294 7th Avenue - detail

The corner bay is just visible at the far right-hand side in an old photo of the row across the street in the Brooklyn Public Library's collection.

Little is known about the firm of Cozzens and Brown, according to the Prospect Heights Historic District's Designation Report, where the firm is listed along with its Prospect Heights attributions:

Prospect Heights Historic District - Designation Report

We know a bit more about the architect, Isaac D. Reynolds, who established his Brooklyn practice in the 1860s and who designed many buildings in both the Prospect Heights and Park Slope Historic Districts:

Prospect Heights Historic District - Designation Report


R. Edebohls said...

I find your blogs fascinating. My building is on 7th Avenue between 10th & 11th streets on the west side. Will you be covering my block soon? I would so love to know the history of my building.

Morgan Munsey said...

I. D. Reynolds built most of Bedford Stuyvesant. He has 77 houses in the Bedford Corners section alone