Monday, January 21, 2013

The Largest building in Bedford Stuyvesant

The second 13th Regiment Armory,  i.e.,  the Sumner Avenue Armory,  was built in 1891 to replace the 1874  Flatbush Avenue  Armory. The new armory, designed by Rudolphe Lawrence Daus,  is  a massive,  early medieval inspired,  fortress-like  edifice dominated by a  two-story,  stone-trimmed sally port  and two  symmetrical,  originally six-story round towers  with crenelated parapets.  The armory is currently a city-owned homeless shelter. The second largest Amory in New York City and maybe the country but this building sit unprotected.  We have lost one tower of this great building already.  I hope that we do not lose more.
Orginial Amory Located at Altantic Center

                                                                         Amory Today

Located in the proposed Stuyvesant North Historic District the Thirteenth Regiment Armory covers almost the entire bloc k on Sumner Avenue (Marcus Garvey), between Putnam and Jefferson Avenues.  The cost of its construction was about $650,000.  The architecture of the structure is of the old Norman style with modern improvements of the time.  R. L. Daus  the architect, thinking that the Thirteenth Regiment would prefer a building, suggestive of the Thirteenth Century, and believing  that, apart from sentiment, the Norman barons of that period knew what was serviceable in military architecture with that idea.  The building was regarded by experts as the very expression of simplicity, strength and dignity.
Architect Rodolphe Lawrence Daus was born on August 10, 1854 in Mexico, where his parents ( Lepold and Emma Ruben-Daus a German and French couple) were residing temporarily. Owing to business relations of his father, who was a wholesale merchant. When he was only a few months old he was brought to New York, where he grew up.  At the age of 20 he came to Europe for his studies, entering the world famous Paris School of Fine Arts or École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts .  Among his classmates he was the first to graduate from the second to the first in class, a distinction that entities him to a special prize.  In assertion he gained medals in construction and mathematics, and his first “project.” Or design in the class gained him the highest award obtainable.  Another distinction he gained was the “Achilles le Clair” prize
Before returning to the United States he was married in Paris to Madamoiselle Louise Perrin.  He lived at his first home at 1419 Pacific in Crown Heights North.  During the latter part of his live he lived in the winter in the St. Hubert Hotel and the summers were spent at Sea Gate.  Daus had two daughters, Henriette and Emma and one son William Thallen Daus, who followed his father’s footsteps being a student of architecture at the Beaux Arts.
In 1899 Daus was appointed a member and secretary of the New York Building Code Commission, and, being the only architect in that body.  Daus was, moreover president of the Brooklyn American Institute of Architects, as well as an active member of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences and the Beaux Arts Society.  Among the clubs of which he was a member may be mentioned the Brooklyn Club, the Rembrandt Club, the Atlantic Yacht Club, the Riding and  Driving Club and the Riding Club.
Daus was a painter of oil and water color in which he achieved success. Daus died on September 30, 1916 at his Paris home located at 36 Avenue de la Bourdonnais.
Other Daus Buildings in Bedford Stuyvesant:
  • 74 Halsey Street 1886 (unprotected but calendared)
  • 615-613 Throop Ave 1890 (landmarked in 1971 Stuyvesant Heights)  
Daus also designed:

  • 81 Willoughby Street NY& NJ Telephone Bldg. , Brooklyn
  • Lincoln Club in Clinton Hil, Brooklyn
  • NY County National Bank, 8th and 14th St, Manhattan
  • 266 West End Avenue, Manhattan
  • 47 Montgomery Pl., Brooklyn
  • Greenpoint Library, Brooklyn 
  • 135 Plymouth St Dumbo, Brooklyn
Street address: 357 Sumner Avenue (now Marcus Garvey Boulevard, between Putnam and Jefferson avenues)
City: Brooklyn
County: Kings
Year constructed: 1892 - 1894
Architect: Rudolphe Lawrance Daus
Size : Regiment
Square footage: 232,606 NSF
Acreage: 2.62 Acres
Status: Closed in 1971 / Used for homeless men's shelter

Units Stationed:
13th Regiment 1894 - 1899
13th Heavy Artillery 1900 - 1905
13th Coastal Artillery 1906 - 1907
13th Artillery District Co. 1-12 1908 - 1913
13th Coast Defense Command (Co. 1-12) 1914 - 1921
13th Coast Defense Command (Co. 357 - 368) 1922 - 1922
245th Artillery (Batteries A-M) 1923 - 1923
245th Coast Artillery Regiment 1924 - ????
Transportation Battalion 1961 - ????


  1. I know this building. This is an amazingly constructive building in bedford.

  2. Do you know why the 13th Regimental Armory postcard (on Sumner Ave.) listed it as being on "Turner Ave." Misprint?