Sunday, November 15, 2015

145 Hancock Street

145 Hancock Street

 Photographed by: Christopher Bride
This house was developed and built in 1893 by one of Brooklyn most fascinating people name William H. Reynolds. Forgotten today Reynolds the youngest ever New York State Senator (24 years old) from Bedford was also major New York builder developer. William Reynolds had just finished his first project a row of 19 townhouses a block away on nearby Halsey Street when he hired the same architectural team of Magnus E. Dahlander and Frederick B. Langston to design this group of four houses plus the corner building in the Romanesque Revival with elements of Renaissance Revival-style. Dahlander from Sweden received his first Brooklyn architectural commission from Reynolds with the Halsey street buildings which Dahlander designed in one night. Reynolds wanted all his buildings to look different from the façade.  Dahlander and Langston would go on to do many buildings in Bedford, Stuyvesant Heights, Crown Heights and Park Slope. Dahlander would later team up with Axel Hedman a fellow Swede and design much of William Reynolds Prospect Heights developments on Park and Sterling place.  
William Reynolds
145 Hancock was in the very aristocratic section of Brooklyn called Bedford and sold very quickly. The first owner was the well-respected John T and Ann Huner.  The Huner family had four children and all are living in this house in 1900 along with two German servants.  John Huner made his fortune in the matches business. Huner matches were called Our Darling Parlor Matches.  He sold the cheapest matches on the east coast which made him a lot of money. John Huner match plant was on Myrtle Avenue in the Evergreens section of Queens.  He was one of the largest matches makers in the country at the turn of the century. John died in 1912 and sometime during the late 1910’s the house traded hands.  In the 1920s Henry and Isabella Barnard are living in the house. Henry was a wholesale salesman. In 1930 Isabella is a widow living in the home with her sister Florence McDonald and German maid. 
Arvhitect F. B. Langston


Architect Magnus Dahlander
1940 is the first time I see the place as multiple dwelling with four families living in the house.  The renters in the house work as truck drivers, drug and grocery salesman and teacher. Also by 1940s this area is now called Bedford-Stuyvesant due to Brooklyn Union Gas. After WWII this once all European American neighborhood area would turn into one of the largest African American neighborhoods in the country.
More of Reynolds projects here From Suzanne Spellen ((


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  3. Informative blog! Very well written article. It feels amazing to know about the Bedford-Stuyvesant history. Keep posting.

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