Gravesend, Brooklyn (Then and Now)

By Joseph Ditta

Completely settled in 1645, the farming city of Gravesend, manhattan, used to be annexed to town (now borough) of Brooklyn, long island, in 1894. Few reminders from Gravesend’s rural days continue to exist round the city panorama it has turn into. Even its more moderen earlier is instantly disappearing.

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In 1879, the recent York and Sea seashore Railroad, precursor of today’s N teach, opened from Bay Ridge to the ocean seashore Palace, its hotel-terminus on Surf road, Coney Island. the road was once electrified in 1898 and set in its current four-track lower among 1913 and 1915. In 1914, the homes at 1754–1800 West 7th highway, visible right here abutting the right-of-way north of Highlawn street, have been propped up whereas employees carved out the Manhattan-bound platform of the Kings street Station. actual property developer Otto Singer (1866–1928) equipped numerous rows of speculative version houses in Gravesend sooner than global warfare I. In 1909, he marketed those at the 1700 block of West 8th highway, south of Kings road. They featured seven rooms with hardwood trim plus tub and laundry for $4,750 ($300 down, $16 in step with month). Porches were enclosed and a few ornamental gables got rid of or coated through siding, yet Singer’s homes stay primarily intact a century when they went up. The fanciful roofline ornamentation on Otto Singer’s version houses provides rhythmic curiosity to what are primarily 17-foot-wide, nondescript brick homes. the 2 rows proven right here lining West 9th road among Kings road and Highlawn road are just like these a block over on West 8th. In all, there are 131 Singer houses on either streets. They bought quick while new end result of the proximity of the ocean seashore Subway Line (today’s N train). Designed in muted colors of “tapestry brick” at the 1700 block of West 10th highway, Otto Singer’s previous English Dwellings have been first marketed in 1913. not like his prior houses on West 8th and 9th Streets, which run in unbroken rows, Singer outfitted those in brief teams with a concession to the growing to be presence of vehicles in Gravesend: driveways among the nook homes. The builder himself occupied No. 1755, the semi-detached version within the present photo. The outdated photograph the following, from a most likely distinctive postcard mailed in 1915, captures Gravesend in transition. The view is east down Kings road from West 10th road. at the left unfold fields and the abode of John Stillwell Bennett. at the correct, capped by means of nook domes, stands the lately equipped row of three-story brick residences at 236–256 Kings road. For the instant, poised in competition around the unpaved highway, Gravesend, the farming city, faces its city destiny. The 1645 patent for Gravesend set the town’s barriers via ordinary landmarks, between them “a Certaine pond in an ould Indian box. ” Indian Pond, because it got here to be known as, coated 31 acres the place road P meets Stillwell street. Its identify echoed former within sight settlements of higher Delawaran local americans. As Brooklyn grew round it early within the twentieth century, Indian Pond choked with rubbish till it went dry. In 1924, a part of its website grew to become Seth Low Playground. From their planing mill, proven in 1890 at the north aspect of road S among West 9th and 10th Streets, brothers Edmond W. (1865–1949) and Henry V. D. Voorhies (1856–1924) provided moldings, forums, trim, brackets, became paintings, and window sashes—the uncomplicated lumber carpenters used to border Gravesend’s current construction inventory.

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