Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Friday, October 8, 2010

35 Prospect Park West

In case you missed it... the ubiquitous "Montrose Morris" posted a nice set of before-and-after photos on Brownstoner this week, featuring a great shot of the building that once carried the 35 Prospect Park West address:

35 Prospect Park West - then
Photo: New York Public Library

According to the Park Slope Historic District's Designation Report, the building was the residence of George C. Tilyou, who built Steeplechase Park in Coney Island.

Somewhere, probably from our late father-in-law, we heard the story that Tilyou's widow, Mary, sold the building to developers on the condition that she could occupy one of the penthouse apartments for the rest of her days. We have no idea whether this is true or not, but it's a nice story. Do the facts support this tale?

A website gives George Cornelius Tilyou's dates as 1862-1914.

Another website says that the present-day apartment tower was constructed in 1929 by Emery Roth.

35 Prospect Park West - now
Emery Roth, architect - 1929

Yet another website says that Mary E. Tilyou, George's widow, lived in the tower until her death at 103 in the 1950s.

So it certainly seems possible that Mary Tilyou made some kind of an arrangement with Emery Roth!

1 comment:

babs said...

More likely Mary Tilyou's deal was with the developers of the site, who were Realty Associates, according to an old newspaper ad in a 35 PPW tenants' brochure. Realty Associates built many of the homes in Lefferts Manor; the firm was composed of many prominent Brooklynites, including Frank Bailey (donor of Bailey Fountain in GAP). For more on RA: http://beta.local.yahoo.com/builders-prospectlefferts-gardens-part-iii-yahoo-contributor-network