Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Lost Bedford Corners Rem Lefferts House

  Rem Lefferts once lived in the lovely home that was torn down over 100 years ago.  This house was built in 1838 and stood as a major landmark in Bedford (Bedford Corners) for over 70 years.  I wish this place was still standing but today we have a rather unappealing architecture on the north side of Fulton at Arlington Pl.  Lets not lose anymore of our buildings lets landmark Bedford.  Please come out to the public hearing on the 15th of Januaury.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Lost Bedford Stuyvesant Old Three Mile House.

Three Mile House on Fulton Street  1909

From City Hall Brooklyn use to have mile houses.  This is the Three mile house that was located on Fulton Street between New York Ave and Brooklyn Ave where Restoration stands today.  This building was built before 1856.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Lost Bedford Stuyvesant Throop Avenue Presbyterian Church

Throop Avenue Presbyterian Church 1906

At the corner of Throop and Willoughby once stood the Throop Avenue Presbyterian Church. This area of the neighborhood was not always known as Bedford Stuyvesant, it was know as the Eastern District. Throop Avenue Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, New York, was organized in 1852.   The
Throop Avenue Presbyterian Church was first reported to the General Assembly of the 
Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (Old School) in 1853. In 1945, it received another 
congregation through a merger, and became known as the Throop Memorial Rosedale 
Presbyterian Church, Rosedale, NY.   In 1962, the name was changed to Throop Memorial Church
Rosedale, located in Queens, New York. This is still an active congregation.
 Throop Avenue Presbyterian Church Sunday School 1906
  1889 Fowler and Hough rendering

This beautiful Romanesque Revival building was design by William C. Hough and Halstead Parker Fowler in 1890. Hough and Fowler are also the architects of the 23rd Armory in Crown Heights and the  East 80th Street: Hungarian Baptist Church in Manhattan.
Rev Lewis Ray Foote D.D.

The man who this structure was built for was the Rev. Foote was a Civil War veteran having enlisted in 1865. He was wounded at the Battle of Fair Oaks. After the war, he was ordained into the Presbyterian ministry and in 1873, became Pastor of the Throop Avenue Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn, NY. He was a prominent minister in Brooklyn and was Pastor of the Throop Avenue Church for 32 years. A bronze tablet dedicated to his memory is currently hanging in the Throop Memorial Presbyterian Church of Rosedale, Queens, NY. The Rev. Foote married Harriet Amanda Crandell Wilson on June 12, 1873. The Throop Avenue church building is currently the Newman Memorial Methodist Church. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The work of Magnus Emil Dahlander in Stuyvesant North

Stuyvesant and Jefferson 1894 Drawing Magnus Emil Dahlander Architect, built for Eli H. Bishop

591 Jefferson Ave Langston and Dahlander Architects 1891

Magnus Emil Dahlander

East side of Stuyvesant Ave M. Dahlander built 1892

Magnus Emil Dahlander - architect and heritage carers - was born in Sater Sweden on August 2, 1862 and died in the same city on 8 May 1951. This does not mean that all his life he lived in Sater. On the contrary. He led the next 55 years, a very active life. The father, who was a pharmacist and as such created a good financial standing, moved with his family in 1866 to Linde, where he built his own house. The drawings of the building were eventually the young Magnus' first primer in the building alongside the real abc book, where he became acquainted with the elementary school in the city and then to continue the preparation of learning acquisition in Gothenburg during the years 1872 to 1874 . Years later the father sold his pharmacy in Linde and purchase by hovapoteket crown in Stockholm. The family moved there and now Magnus continued his schooling in New Elementary School. It was during an era when this school with traditions from Carl Jonas Love Almquist time, as the state's sample school yet still took a rank position among Swedish high school. He stayed there mate with several young men, who in different ways and in different political camps would become known personalities, including Louis Stavenow, Karl Staaf, Bergegren and Daniel Fallström. His first acquaintance with art in its higher meaning he did in 1876 when he entered the Free Art The Academy in its elementary drawing school or, as it is also called, basically school. Here he met the first time, Anders Zorn. At that time he undertook a summer trip to Dalarna with some of his schoolmates, referred depicted by him in his remembrance. From that time never ceased Dalarna, his birthplace, to pull him to her. But before he would come to experience a lot. In 1879 he moved from Stockholm and New Elementary School to Örebro, where he graduated in 1883 matriculation. It was followed by a brief stay in Paris, where he in accordance with the family.
Stuyvesant and Jefferson c.1900
Stuyvesant and Jefferson built 1892
Dahilander recieved his Degree at the University of Technology in 1888, followed by studies in such United States and several European countries. City Architect in Örebro 1899-1914. Architect in army barracks building committee from 1914 to 1917. Moved to Sater 1917th County Architect in Kopparberg County 1920 - '. Chair. the Planning Committee in Sater 1919 -? Founded the local history museum Åsgårdstrand
500 Hancock built 1891 Langston and Dahlander Architects
500 Hancock built 1891 Langston and Dahlander Architects
500 Hancock built 1891 Langston and Dahlander Architects
While in the US Dahlander lived and worked in Brooklyn, New York.  He only lived in Brooklyn from 1888 to 1896.  In that short time this man would transform Brooklyn residential architecture into something the city has never seen before.   Many of Dahlander homes can be found in Crown, Heights, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Bedford and Stuyvesant Heights.  Dahlander worked with architect Frederick B. Langston for the first few years here finially going on his own.  Eli Bishop a local developer who I plan to write about in the near future often hired Dahlander to design his beautiful townhomes. Before Dahlander left for Sweden he linked up with another Swede name Axel Hedman and would design many homes in central Brooklyn.  Dahlander would past the torch to Hedman who would stay in New York until his death.

571 - 587 Jefferson Avenue built in 1891 Langston and Dahlander Architects
Stuyvesant North is not landmarked and we would love to protect the great work of Dahlander and the many other architects that worked in this area of Bedford Stuyveant. 

View other works of Magnus Emil Dahlander here

Lost Bedford Stuyvesant Brooklyn Orphan Aslyum

From 1870 until 1942 stood on Atlantic Avenue and Kingston Avenue a grand building for the orphan children of Brooklyn.  To read more about the Brooklyn Orphan read my friend Montrose Morris write up on this great building: Brooklyn Orphan Asylum.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

1920's Nostrand Avenue

A great image of Nostrand looking north towards Halsey street.  The Alhambra (the building on the left) has storefronts put in by this time.  Mostly everything in this photo is still here today although the building with arch has lost the arch.  The building was designed by Langston and Dahlander in 1891 for Senator William Reynolds.  These buildings are part of the Calendared Bedford Historic District.
Early images of Bedford Stuyvesant:  Greene Ave 1902 NW side at the corner of Nostrand Ave
495 Greene Ave  the residence and office of Dr. H. Albert Wade 1902.  This house designed in the 1880's by Amzi Hill is still standing unprotected.   We hope to one day landmark this great block of Greene Avenue. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Bedford Historic District Map.

This is the proposed Bedford Historic District map from LPC. I feel a new historic district coming soon...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Architecture of George Pool Chappell in the Proposed Bedford Historic District

Architect George Pool Chappell with his first wife, Hester Louisa Candee Chappell

George Pool Chappell was born in 1857 in the then Bedford section of Brooklyn NY.  When I first moved to Bedford Stuyvesant it was George Chappell's 1888 First AMEZ Church ( Tompkins Avenue Congregational Church) on MacDonough Street and Tompkins Avenue  that caught my attention.  The campanile was Bedford Stuyvesant's own venetian tower I thought to myself. Tompkins Avenue Congregational Church AKA Dr. Meredith House was one of the largest protestant sanctuaries in the country.  I often wonder how such a young architect at the time got such a large commission. I think it has a bit has to do with Chappell living across the street from the church site at the time. 

About two years ago I got my own commission to do renovation work on a beautiful landmarked George P. Chappell house on Dean Street.  While surveying that house I began to respect this very smart Victorian architect.  I wanted to know more about him his works, what kind of man was he... The good news is that we know much of his Brooklyn works (look here) the bad news is we know nothing about this mystery man except he was very respected and a stand-up citizen of Brooklyn .
According to Suzanne Spellen (aka Montrose Morris on brownstoner.com) Chappell appears in Brooklyn directories in 1878. We know nothing about his education or possible apprenticeships or training. We do know that he was extremely talented, and prolific. Most of his work was done in what is now Crown Heights North, Bedford Stuyvesant, and Park Slope, along with a lesser amount of work in Clinton Hill and other neighborhoods. He is listed in the census as living in Bedford Stuyvesant, on Monroe Street, when he was 23, with his mother and grandmother, and he is listed as a builder. Later in life, he moved to Crown Heights North, and lived on St. Marks Avenue, at least in the beginning of the 20th century. As more and more areas become landmarked, or at least researched, more Chappell buildings are being re-discovered and credited to him. Chappell should be name Mr Dean Street of Mr. Crown Heights.  Most of the ohh ahhh buildings in that neighborhood are done by Chappell.

Tompkins Avenue Congregational Church b.1888 G.P. Chappell Architect

 I want to focus on the George P. Chappell buildings in the Proposed but not landmarked Bedford Historic District.  According to a tour I attended with Guru Andrew Dolkart, architect  George Chappell earliest buildings in this Bedford area are 76 and 78 Halsey built sometime before 1885. Chappell was one of the first architects to not use the typical Neo-Grec house designs in Bedford.  Chappell's 76 and 78 Halsey Street is done in the simple Romanesque Revival Style which added some spice to this area.
78 and 76 Halsey Street George Chappell Architect built around 1883
 Front elevation of 76 Halsey Street George Chappell Architect
78 and 76 Halsey Street George Chappell Architect built around 1883

In 1886 Chappell out did himself in Bedford with the house he designed at 194 Hancock Street for Louis Gibbins.  194 Hancock Street uses Renaissance-inspired forms and details, which tend to exhibit a more elegant handling of materials and ornament.   The current owners have done a great deal of work restore this house back to its original glory.
194 Hancock Street b.1887 G.P. Chappell architect/ original owner Louis Gibbins
194 Hancock Street b.1887 G.P. Chappell architect/ original owner Louis Gibbins

1887 was a busy year for Chappell in Bedford District with the building of nine house being designed and built. 60 Macon Street Done in a classic Chappell style using a large bay front done in brick with a boat cut brownstone base. Oriels on the side to give this place great light and garden views. 
60 Macon Street b.1887 G.P. Chappell architect/ Built by Arnold Wagner

Chappell will be very surprise today to learn that many of his houses are now on the market for a million dollars here in Bedford, Crown Heights North and Park Slope.  This group at 271 - 279 Jefferson was built for developer Susanna and Walter Russell who built much of the Proposed Bedford District. We see from Prudential Douglas Elliman photos that Chappell's signature fret, woodwork and stain glass are still intact in 271 Jefferson.

271 -279 B. 1887 G.P. Chappell Architect; S.E.C. Russell Builder/Developer

 The last group of Chappell 1887 homes in Bedford are probably his most famous but not because of the architecture but due to Spike Lee movie Crooklyn filmed at 7 Arlington Place.  1 - 7 Arlington Place are some of my favorite but somewhat simple homes done by Chappell.  The end  two houses, which are united by continuous sills and moldings, also share rusticated stone first floors and denticulated moldings. The two middle houses share similar brownstone facades with stone trim, identical cornices, and continuous moldings, all four houses remain well preserved.
1 - 7 Arlington Pl /B. 1887 G.P. Chappell Architect; Horace Russell Builder/Developer
1 - 7 Arlington Pl from Halsey Street G.P. Chappell Architect 1887

George Pool Chappell with his second wife, Clare Chase Chappell, his daughter, Marjorie Halstead, and his 2 grandchildren, Hester and Berrian Halstead.

 Finally the Macon.  This is Chappell's largest residential building in the Bedford District. Chappell really took advantage of the curved intersection of Macon and Arlington Place.  This grand apartment was built sometime in the 1890s most likely after the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago in the classical style of the White City.  This building was built to compete with other high end flats such as the Alhambra and the Renaissance all within the same area.  George P. Chappell has many other buildings in Bedford Stuyvesant but I wanted to focus on the proposed landmarked buildings. 
1890s The Macon George P. Chappell Architect
George Pool Chappell at work…
Chappell worked over fifty years building much of Bedford, Stuyvesant Heights, Crown Heights North, Clinton Hill and Park Slope. George Pool Chappell died in June 1933.

To learn more about George Pool Chappell please join us tomorrow for a MAS Crown Heights North Walking tour: http://mas.org/tours/

Monday, March 19, 2012


The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold an official community meeting regarding the creation of the Bedford Historic District on March 21st, 2012 at 6:30 PM at Restoration Plaza, in the lower level Community Room. Restoration Plaza is located at 1368 Fulton Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

Members of the Landmarks Preservation Commission will present an overview of the commission’s designation and regulatory processes. Property owners in the proposed district have been notified by letter of the meeting and will have an opportunity to ask questions about the process and what it means to the community.

Bedford Corners comprises the blocks of: Macon Street between Arlington Place and Marcy Avenue; Arlington Place between Halsey Street and Macon Street; Halsey Street between Bedford Avenue and Marcy Avenue; Hancock Street between Bedford Avenue and Tompkins Avenue; Jefferson Avenue from Nostrand Avenue to Tompkins Avenue; and Putnam Avenue, Monroe Street and Madison Street between Nostrand Avenue and extending east to Marcy Avenue.

Bedford Historic District will be only the third new historic district named in Bedford-Stuyvesant since 1971, when the Stuyvesant Heights district was formed. Growing support for the formation of Bedford Corners has been shown with a community awareness campaign to the proposed district launched by a coalition of block associations in the district. Over the past 2 years the Bedford District Block Associations coalition has organized 3 public information forums for residents and property owners. Additional information was supplied by the Historic Districts Council at these forums. The designation of this district has also garnered the support of Borough President Marty Markowitz , City Councilmember Al Vann, Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries and Community Board #3.

This district has filed a Request for Evaluation with the LPC and has been awaiting surveying and calendaring procedures. The official LPC forum on March 21st marks the first official step on the part of the LPC to further the designation process. Following this community meeting the next steps will be a public hearing at the Commission office and a vote by the City Council. It is crucial for those in favor of landmark designation to attend this meeting.

For further information see: