Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Sunday, November 21, 2010

5th Avenue Neergaard Pharmacy

Updated: Commenter Francis says below that the peripatetic 5th Avenue Neergaard occupied several other locations before settling into its current spot in 1915. Thanks, Francis!

The Winter, 2011 issue of Borough President Markowitz's "Brooklyn Newspaper" arrived the other day, bringing with it an interesting article about the 5th Avenue Neergaard Pharmacy:

Neergaard Pharmacy
454 5th Avenue
Est. 1888

In a city that never sleeps, Brooklyn’s got the place that’s been awake the longest. The Neergaard Pharmacy on 5th Ave. in Park Slope opened its doors in 1888, when Brooklyn was still its own city. Founded by a Danish immigrant named Julius de Neergaard, the store remained in the de Neergaard family through three generations, until the Tomassetti family purchased it in 1987. Since 1901, Neergaard has been open 24 hours a day, seven days a week—except for a few days during World War I.

Today, Neergaard is the oldest independently owned pharmacy in Brooklyn, and one of the oldest in the City— and one of the few pharmacies that are open 24 hours a day. “Doctors know they can send patients here at all hours,” store manager Tom Sutherland said. Neergaard is also uniquely set up to serve Brooklyn’s growing senior population, and even includes a surgical shop that sells everything from walkers to wheelchairs (Neergaard also operates a 7th Ave. location that is not open 24 hours).

From the crash of a United Airlines jet in Park Slope in 1960 (a Neergaard employee is visible in the photo The New York Times ran the next day), to the attacks of September 11, 2001 (Brooklynites who walked home from Manhattan queued up for masks and other supplies), Neergaard has been there through the city’s most perilous times.

“We endured through the Great Depression and two world wars and we’ve always kept up with the times,” Sutherland said. “Park Slope is still the place to be.”

Neergaard Pharmacy, 454 5th Ave. Open 24 hours every day; (718) 768-0600; or visit www.neergaardpharmacies.com

The 5th Avenue Neergaard Pharmacy actually occupies two adjacent brownstone-front buildings, part of a row of 5 very old buildings on that block. All we know about them is that they appear on the 1880 Bromley Brooklyn Atlas, so they must have been standing by that time.

5th Avenue, 9th to 10th Streets, west side - circa 1870s

Further uphill, at 234 8th Avenue in the Park Slope Historic District, stands another building with a connection to the pharmacological Neergaard family:

234 8th Avenue - Park Slope Historic District
Charles F. Neergaard Residence
Aymar Embury, architect - 1913

Regarding 234 8th Avenue, the Park Slope Historic District's Designation Report tells us:

It was built in 1913 and designed by the well-known architect Aymar Embury, 132 Madison Ave., New York, as a private residence for Charles F. Neergaard. His grandfather, John W. Neergaard, was a founder of the New York College of Pharmacy.


Francis said...

David, my understanding is that Neergaard has been in its present Fifth Avenue location only since about 1915. Its original location in 1888 was at Fifth Avenue and President Street. It then moved to Fifth Avenue and 9th Street around 1910, and then a few doors farther down around 1915.

LGR said...

I've always admired 234 - it's so interesting (and unique for the neighborhood) - slightly out of context, but somehow works.