Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Row Houses
Address: 201-249 Lexington Avenue
Cross Streets: Bedford and Nostrand Avenues
Neighborhood: Bedford Stuyvesant
Year Built: sometime between 1880 and 1886
Architectural Style: Neo-Grec with Queen Anne details
The story: We have a mystery here. The 1880 Bromley Atlas for the City of Brooklyn clearly shows elevated tracks along Lexington Avenue in Bedford. Yet a history of that elevated line states that the trains didn’t start running until 1885. Perhaps they were building them, or were going to start to build them back in 1880, so they put them on the map. Who knows? What is more interesting is the development on Lexington Avenue itself.
We know today that a street with trains rumbling by overhead is not seen as prime real estate, or having optimal living conditions, with noise, lack of sunlight and soot. But back then; this was new technology and new opportunities for public transportation. In 1880, the Bromley Atlas shows there was no development on the north side of the block of Lexington between Nostrand and Bedford. Not a single building. The south side had only one group of row houses, in the middle of the block. What a difference six years makes! (more…)