Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Thomas Bennett for Louis Bonert in 3rd Street

Long ago we identified prolific Park Slope builder Louis Bonert as the developer of much of 3rd Street between 6th and 7th Avenues.

More recently we identified Pohlman and Patrick as the architects for 8 westermost of these apartment houses, 4 on each side of the street, toward 6th Avenue. Pohlman and Patrick's buildings were erected in 1903, and can be identified by the flat, foliate entablature surmounting the entrance:

458 3rd Street
Pohlman and Patrick, architects - 1903
Louis Bonert, builder

458 3rd Street - entrance detail

Bonert apparently felt he had found a winning formula with these spacious, 8-family, 38'-wide apartment houses, because he built seven more of them one year later, in 1904, just uphill from the first group. For reasons unknown, however, he chose to employ for the later group another prolific Brooklyn architect, Thomas Bennett, with whom he had collaborated on some other apartments in 3rd Street a few years earlier:

"Projected Buildings," RERBG v. 73, no. 1882 (April 9, 1904): p. 847.
-639- 3rd st, n s, 293 e 6th av, three 4-sty brk tenements, 38.3x68, 8 families, steam heat; total cost, $45,000; L Bonert, 6th av and 3rd st; ar't, T Bennett, 3rd av and 52d st.

The 1904 buildings are nearly identical to the earlier group, and are distinguished mainly by a peaked entablature surmounting the doorway. The 1904 group also has one less window illuminating the central staircase:

461 3rd Street
Thomas Bennett, architect - 1904
Louis Bonert, builder

461 3rd Street - entrance detail

The similarity between the buildings from two different architects is remarkable. Bonert certainly seems to have maintained no loyalty to a particular architect from one development to the next.

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