The BOTD is a no-frills look at interesting structures of all types and from all neighborhoods. There will be old, new, important, forgotten, public, private, good and bad. Whatever strikes our fancy. We hope you enjoy.
Address: 1090 Greene Ave, corner of Goodwin Place
Name: Former Henry C. Bohack house
Year Built: late 1870′s, early 1880′s
Architectural Style: Italianate
Why chosen: This is a handsome home, a vanishing remnant of the days when Brooklyn was filled with wood framed Italianate houses. There are great details here: the columns, and entryway, the finely carved cornice, and the splendid window frames and bays. It’s now, in part, the Lighthouse Church of God, but was once the home of Henry C. Bohack, the founder of the Bohack’s Supermarket chain. He opened his first store on Fulton Street in 1887, and the chain, at its height in the 1940′s, had 740 stores in Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island, employing over 3,000 people. Henry Bohack died in 1931, but the stores went on for several more generations. In the late ’60′s, they tried to grow out of financial problems, expanding into Westchester, and elsewhere, but the effort failed big time and the chain went bankrupt in the 1970′s. Many of their stores were sold to Daitch Shopwell, which became Food Emporium. Anyone who grew up in NYC before that time remembers Bohack’s, as their stores were literally, everywhere. As for this house, few in the neighborhood now know the Bohack’s name, but the house remains as a fine example of residential architecture in a neighborhood with an eclectic mixture of architectural styles and a rich history. They need historic designation protection.
Thanks to Kevin Walsh of Forgotten NY, for a very well put together, and fascinating walking tour of Bushwick yesterday. The group was an interesting, eclectic group of people, and we all followed Kevin through the heat of the day, and learned a lot about Bushwick. It was great.