We knew from our last post that the building was constructed in 1892 as a public hall by Edward P. Day, to plans by architect Walter H. C. Hornum. What we didn't know was the name of the building.
Sharp-eyed commenter John Casson found the following Brooklyn Eagle citation that yields the name "Arvena" for this building; the Eagle notes that the word derives from a Greek term for "place of assemblage." Congratulations and thanks for this great find, John!:
Brooklyn Eagle, October 16, 1892, p. 2 ("A New Amusement Hall")
Meanwhile, independently from John's work, we happened across a further clue while researching Columbia Hall. Apparently a "Professor J. O. E. Small" conducted dancing classes at both Columbia Hall and at Day's building, on alternate evenings. However, "Professor" Small's advertisement refers to Day's building as "Day's Avena," dropping the 'r':
Apparently "Day's Avena" is the name that came into common usage. The Eagle lists all the usual fraternal and sororal associations meeting at "Day's Avena" (not "Arvena") in the final decade of the 19th century.
So, congratulations are also due to Professor J. O. E. Small, dancing instructor, for his role in helping to resolve the mystery of "Day's Avena:"
At least now we know what the building was called. Yet another mystery regarding this building arises: what are those symbols inside the pediment on the 6th Avenue facade? Are they Masonic? There is some Eagle evidence that Edward P. Day was a Mason. Is that the letter 'C', and if so what if anything does it mean? Inquiring minds want to know!: