Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

7th Street: Block History vs. Eagle & AABN

We're particularly interested to read block histories because it gives us a chance to compare our own ad-hoc research findings from the Brooklyn Eagle, American Architect & Building News, etc. with the building research compiled by others.

So how does our research stack up against Lois Stewart's 7th Street Block History, compiled in the 1960s?

In fact, the two sets of research conform with each other quite well. Let's take a walk up the street and compare data.

Nearest 7th Avenue is a row of 10 brownstone-faced 3-family flat houses, discussed previously on this blog:

476-494 7th Street - 1887
Alexander G. Calder, owner
William M. Calder, architect

Lois Stewart's Block History dates this row to 1887 and attributes it to the father-and-son team of Alexander G. and William M. Calder:

This conforms precisely to our own findings about this row from the American Architect & Building News:

"Building Intelligence; Tenement-Houses; Brooklyn, N. Y.," AABN vol. 21, no. 589 (Apr. 9, 1887): p. xii.
– "Seventh St., s s, 80' e Seventh Ave., 10 three-st’y brown-stone tenements, tin roofs; cost, each, $7,000; owner and contractor, A. G. Calder, 312 Thirteenth St., architect, W. M. Calder."

The next group of six buildings is nearly identical to the first group of 10, differing only slightly in detailing:

496-506 7th Street - 1888
Sampson B. Oulton, owner
William Wirth, architect

Lois Stewart's Block History cites 1888 as the year of construction, and attributes the row to Sampson B. Oulton:

Once again our AABN listing conforms to the above, and adds the name of William Wirth, architect, to the story.

"Building Intelligence; Houses; Brooklyn, N. Y.," AABN vol. 23, no. 651 (Jun. 16, 1888): p. xix.
– "Seventh St., s s, 422' 10" w Eighth Ave., 6 three-st’y brownstone dwells., tin roof; cost, each, $5,000; owner, S. B. Oulton, 188 Eleventh St.; architect, Wm. Wirth; builder, Lawson."

Careful readers will recall another collaboration from the team of Oulton and Wirth.

So far our research is 2 for 2 on this block!

The final set of buildings on the block is a later Neoclassical row of 10 single-family houses, quite different from the adjacent rows of 3-family flats:

508-526 7th Street - 1899-1900
Daniel Buckley, owner

We had uncovered nothing about this particular row. Lois Stewart's Block History attributes them to a builder named "Buckley," since all of the sales transactions were in the name of Rose Buckley, presumably the builder's wife:

Here at last we are able to add something that escaped Lois Stewart's eagle eye. Some research in the Brooklyn Eagle, Lain's Brooklyn Directory of 1897, and our own Park Slope research files indicates that Rose P. Buckley was the wife of Daniel Buckley, a Park Slope-based builder; thus the evidence strongly suggests that these houses were built by Daniel Buckley:

Brooklyn Eagle, January 2, 1896, p. 2 ("Legal Notices")
Establishes Rose P. Buckley as wife to Daniel Buckley

BUCKLEY Dan'l bldr. h 283 7th av

1897 Lain's Brooklyn Directory

The above findings raise our confidence that the building research we've compiled from the Brooklyn Eagle, AABN, etc. is fairly accurate. It's certainly not complete; for example, we had nothing in our files regarding the 7th Street Buckley row. For that we have to thank the amazing work done by Lois Stewart in the 1960s.

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