Tuesday, June 7, 2011

259 Jefferson Avenue

259 Jefferson Avenue
In 1886 architect John G. Prague designed a beautiful Queen Anne/ Romanesque Revival home at 259 Jefferson Avenue in the then Bedford Section of Brooklyn. I will be talking about the great architectural contribution of J. G. Prague in future post but I want to focus on the first owners of 259 Jefferson. This block of Jefferson Avenue is known for Mr. Frank Woolworth but there was another big resident living a few houses down.
Many people today do not know who William Joseph and Bridget Theresa McGrover Howard are but this couple moved into there beautiful Jefferson home in 1886 along with young daughters Loretta and Gertrude. The Howard's would go on to have three more children while living at 259 Jefferson, Elizabeth, William and Genevieve. William Howard is the founder and builder of Howard Beach in Queens, NY.

Bridget Theresa McGrover
1853 - 1937

William J. Howard, a Brooklyn glove manufacturer who operated a 150 acre goat farm on meadow land near Aqueduct Racetrack as a source of skin for kids' gloves. In 1897, he bought more land and filled it in and the following year, built 18 cottages and opened a hotel near the water, which he operated until it was destroyed by fire in October 1907. He gradually bought more land and formed the Howard Estates Development Company in 1909. He dredged and filled the land until he was able to accumulate 500 acres by 1914. He laid out several streets, water mains and gas mains, and built 35 houses. William Howard died in 1919 at his Jefferson Ave home.

1 comment:

  1. Love the old paintings. I think you mean "for kid gloves" though (the soft leather made from the skin of a young lamb or goat).