Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Monday, August 30, 2010

"Smiling Pizza" Row

According to the American Architect & Building News, the row of six buildings on the northeast corner of 9th Street and 7th Avenue was built in 1881 to designs by prolific Park Slope architect Cevedra B. Sheldon:

"Building Intelligence; Brooklyn," AABN vol. 9, no. 281 (May 14, 1881): p. 239.
– "Seventh Ave., n e cor., Ninth St., 6 three-st’y brownstone tenements; cost, each $7,000; owner and builder, John H. Townsend; architect, C. B. Sheldon."

The corner building contains the famous "Smiling Pizza" shop on the ground floor, familiar to generations of Park Slope residents and 'F' train riders:

439-449 9th Street
Cevedra Blake Sheldon, Architect - 1881
John H. Townsend, owner/builder

The rest of the row are 3-story, 3-family flat houses or "tenements," a term which meant any multi-family housing in those days. The row is brownstone-faced, with neo-Grec incised detailing, fully-enframed windows, and distinctive cornice:

The corner building is taller by one floor than the rest of the row, but has the same cornice:

Apparently the corner building was originally 3 stories tall, like the others; the 4th floor was added in an extensive 1890 remodeling whose architect was Mercein Thomas:

"Building Intelligence; Alterations; Brooklyn, N. Y.," AABN vol. 28, no. 756 (Jun. 21, 1890): p. xiv.
– "Seventh Ave., n e cor. Ninth St., three-st’y brick dwell, tin roof, raised one-st’y, one-st’y extension added for a store and altered internally; cost, $10,000; owner, James McLaren, foot of Court St.; architect, Mercien Thomas, 16 Court St."

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