Cars were pretty cool looking in 1933. Think Chicago mobster cars, Bonnie and Clyde, sedans with serious running boards, headlamps that were really lamps, tires with spokes and the spare attached to the side of the car; those kinds of cars, some of which were Chevrolets. They remain some of American’s best loved and most classic cars.
Chevrolet was founded way back in 1911 by Louis Chevrolet and William C. Durant as direct competition to General Motors. Durant had founded and run General Motors in 1908, but had been kicked off the board of his own corporation two years later. He used his new Chevrolet Motor Car Company to get back on the board, something he accomplished by making the Chevrolet so popular that he was able to buy enough GM stock to put himself back in charge in 1916. He brought Chevrolet with him, and it was soon GM’s most profitable car line.
Everyone liked Chevrolet, it was one of the “people’s cars” along with Ford and later, the Chrysler spin-off, Plymouth. They were called the “low price three.” In 1933, Chevrolet introduced the Standard Six, which was the cheapest six-cylinder car on the market. That same year, Benson Chevrolet opened up for business on 86th Street in Bensonhurst. (more…)
Name: Engine Company 253, FDNY Address: 2425-2427 86th Street Cross Streets: 24th and 25th avenues Neighborhood: Bensonhurst Year Built: 1895-1896 Architectural Style: Dutch Renaissance Revival Architect: Parfitt Brothers Other works by architect: Berkeley, Grosvenor and Montague apartments in Brooklyn Heights, Truslow mansion in Crown Heights North, St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church, Grace Methodist Church in Park Slope Landmarked: Yes, individual landmark (1998)
The story: In 1887, developer James D. Lynch approached the Benson family in New Utrecht with offers to buy their farms, which had been in the family for over 200 years. They initially were not interested, but Lynch upped the pot, and also promised to preserve the Benson family homestead, and to name his new development “Bensonhurst-by-the-Sea.” That sealed the deal, and Lynch proceeded to build a new upscale suburb along the lines of Tennis Court and the other planned suburban enclaves of Flatbush. Unfortunately, the Panic of 1893 put a severe crimp in his plans, as did resistance to investing in New Utrecht, which at the time was outside of the border of the City of Brooklyn. It was annexed in 1894, but never was as successful as had been planned. It wasn’t until 1914, when the 4th Avenue subway arrived, that the area began to pick up. Full development occurred after World War I.
Brooklyn’s fire department began as a volunteer organization, with independent fire houses in the towns and villages that made up Kings County. In 1869, with pressure from the public, as well as insurance companies, a professional firefighting department was established in Brooklyn. The effect of this bill closed many volunteer companies, but also caused new firehouses to be built or old ones repaired, and for more modern equipment to be bought. It also reduced the number of firemen to a force of only 235 men by 1880.
But Brooklyn was growing fast, and the more far-flung towns in the county, like Flatlands, New Utrecht, Flatbush and Gravesend were becoming interesting to developers, men like James Lynch. At that time, even though there was now a professional city Fire Department, the outlying agrarian areas were not well represented, if at all, and depended still on local volunteers for fire protection. In the 1890s, the city started remedying this, hiring first class architects to design firehouses for an expanding city, and allocating funds to expand the fire department, to buy modern equipment and hire more men. In 1895 alone, four new companies were organized and 18 new firehouses were built or under construction. (more…)
Someone wise once said that you can judge a society by how they care for their children. One might also add to that statement by adding how a society cares for the crippled and disabled children and adults, as well. Long before there were government agencies, legal protection or safety nets for the most powerless people in our society, there were still those whose hearts and hands were opened to help. Late 19th century Brooklyn was much like today, with a great many upwardly mobile and wealthy people spread across most of the city. There was a respectable middle class, the working poor, and a large population of destitute and desperate people.
Among the wealthier sets, charity was tied up with faith and community. There were those who gave because they wanted to impress their peers and the rest of the world, and those who gave because it was an expected duty. And then there were those who truly believed that their wealth, position, and often their faith, mandated that they not only give generously, but be active as well, taking the time to be on committees, fund raise, visit the poor, and give magnanimously of their time and money. The Victorians set up a number of important charities during this period, and many of them are still with us today. One of these was the Children’s Aid Society. (more…)
1. WILLIAMSBURG $1,210,190.13 22 North 6th Street, #19D + storageGMAPP*Shark Not much info on this Edge sale, except that it came with a storage unit! Entered into contract on 9/9/11; closed on 10/14/11; deed recorded on 11/10/2011.
2. DUMBO $1,150,000 70 Washington Street, #5AGMAPP*Shark
This is a one bed plus home office. According to the listing, it comes in at “a sprawling 1342 SF.” Entered into contract on 5/13/11; closed on 5/13/11; deed recorded on 11/09/2011.
3. BENSONHURST $1,142,500 130 Bay 10th StreetGMAPP*Shark
This is a one to two family home sold with an attached garage. Entered into contract on 7/13/11; closed on 9/19/11; deed recorded on 11/07/2011.
4. BAY RIDGE $1,010,000 132 98th StreetGMAPP*Shark
A one-family home at 2,819 square feet. Entered into contract on 7/6/11; closed on 10/5/11; deed recorded on 11/10/2011.
5. COBBLE HILL $905,000 86 Congress Street, #208 + parking spaceGMAPP*Shark
This is the first time in a long time we can remember the biggest sales dropping below the $1M mark. This unit at 86 Congress Street came with a parking space. This is definitely not the highest closing price for the condo building, a double unit sold there for $1,400,000. Entered into contract on 7/15/11; closed on 9/6/11; deed recorded on 11/09/2011.
The 18th Avenue Feast/Feast of Santa Rosalia has been canceled this year after a more than 30-year run, according to Bensonhurst Bean. Joe LaMotta, one of the festival’s organizers, says the permit for the event from the mayor’s office took a long time to come through, which means it wasn’t possible to get vendors in place. Other sources tell the blog that the mayor’s office isn’t necessarily to blame because the festival’s organizers took a long time to submit necessary paperwork to the city, while “a high-ranking political source” says some of the organizers were arrested as part of a big mafia bust in January. There’s a possibility the event won’t ever make a comeback since the city hasn’t been keen on issuing new permits for street festivals. 18th Avenue Feast Is Cancelled! [Bensonhurst Bean] Photo by lina-chen.com.
Forgotten NY had a fun post this weekend about the 46th Street Rock Palace in Bensonhurst, a one-time destination spot of touring bands. What particularly caught our attention, as one of those people who cares perhaps a little too much about this kind of thing, was mention of a string of dates back in late 1970 when, just months before their legendary run at the Fillmore East in April of ’71, the Grateful Dead took the stage to a less-than-capacity crowd. (According to this blog, Hot Tuna was also on the bill.) Here’s a first-person account that FNY dug up:
This was possibly one of the weirdest shows I ever saw (but enjoyable nevertheless). It took place on a Weds about 2:30 [PM] ..the theater was basically deserted. We sat in the third row…we were literally half of the audience until a few songs in when a whole group of senior citizens (at least 20) filed in and sat a few rows behind us (not your usual dead crowd!). The 10+ of us noticed them, but didn’t know what to make of their presence, so we just carried on as usual (if you know what I mean). Bur for years I wondered what drew them to see the Dead? A few years ago, still wondering, I told this story to a Deadhead who grew up in Brooklyn and he knew the answer. They were from a local senior citizen home and they were on an outing. They had no idea what they were walking into, but the theater had a package deal with the home to get them out and about, and that must have been one of the days they were scheduled to go to that theater to see a movie. They didn’t come to see the Dead, (but I wonder what they made of them). By the way, the show was pretty good. It must have been because the old folks stayed for the whole thing (or else, weird as it must have been to them, it was better than going back to the home).
For anyone who’s curious, you can listen to one of the shows here but be warned that the sound quality is pretty poor. Cinema Treasures also has a profile of the building here.
PropertyShark put together a list of the top commercial deals in Brooklyn in the second quarter of the year, and the biggest sales were in Williamsburg and Clinton Hill. The most money paid for a building this spring was $27.2 million for the Williamsburg rental 44 Berry Street, which ING Clarion Partners purchased. The second-biggest buy was a group of investors’ purchase of the Clinton Hill development 163 Washington Avenue for $22 million; the building has since been launched as a rental. Rounding out the top five: 268 Bay 38th Street, a 140-unit Bensonhurst rental, sold for $20.5 million; 350 Hicks Street, a garage Continuum Health Partners owned while it operated LICH went to SUNY Downstate for $17.2 million; and a 113-unit apartment building at 2440 East 29th Street in Sheepshead Bay fetched $16.3 million.
1. GOWANUS $3,000,000 398 BondGMAP
The sale of 398 Bond was featured in a post yesterday. The big, glassy two family was only on the market for 35 days before entering contract. It was originally priced at $3.5 million. It’s split up into an owners triplex and a two-bedroom rental now on the market.There’s a garage, rooftop pool, outdoor terrace and a deck. Entered into contract on 7/20/10; closed on 1/14/11; deed recorded on 2/4/2011.
2. PROSPECT HEIGHTS $2,005,000 162 St. Mark’s Avenue, #3GMAP
The brownstone at 162 St. Marks Avenue has been on the market as a three-unit building, one of which was a Rental of the Day. Two previous units sold for $967,337 and $1,033,523. This unit in particular is a
2,750-square-feet four bedroom, and was initially listed for $1,679,000. Entered into contract on 10/27/10; closed on 1/24/2011; deed recorded on 1/31/10.
3. DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN $1,731,025 389 Atlantic AvenueGMAP 389 Atlantic Avenue is a one- to three-family building with a storefront on the ground level and three two-bedroom apartments. The net operating income of 2010 was $122,000. It first hit the market for $2,100,000, then dropped to $1,950,000. It entered into contract in the next month. Entered into contract on 9/24/2010; closed on 1/18/2011; deed recorded on 2/1/11.
4. MANHATTAN BEACH $1,530,000.00 4186 Ocean AvenueGMAP
The listing for this property comes just with a small exterior picture. At 1,140 square feet, it is somewhat small for a home in this neighborhood bringing in that price. But the location is a good one, and it looks like it comes on a sizable lot. Ask price was $1,650,000. Entered into contract on 11/29/2010; closed on 1/14/2011; deed recorded on 2/3/11.
5. BATH BEACH $1,480,000 88 Bay 20th StreetGMAP Not much info on this two-family home. A 2,051-square-foot house on a 8,689-square-foot lot. The Property Shark photo shows this to be a pretty beautiful property. Entered into contract on 11/5/2010; closed on 1/19/11; deed recorded on 2/3/11.
Best “Old Brooklyn” Restaurants?
A Fort Greene newcomer askedNew York Times restaurant critic Sam Sifton if he could recommend any “old Brooklyn” eateries, and Sifton replied: “You’ll want to visit the Mill Basin Kosher Delicatessen on Avenue T. You’ll want to have some clams at Randazzo’s in Sheepshead Bay. You should absolutely have pizza at Totonno’s in Coney Island and more at L & B Spumoni Gardens in the Gravesend neighborhood. You should jog back down to Sheepshead Bay to Roll-N-Roaster and get a roast beef sandwich, a meal that has been satisfying high school students for 40 years. You absolutely need a hero from Lioni’s in Bensonhurst.” Any other classic Brooklyn spots to add to this list?
Brooklyn Restaurant Openings
And outpost of Dao Palate is opening at 201 Fifth Avenue (between Union and Berkeley), in a storefront “that’s recently been home to a couple failed Japanese restaurants (Tamari, Hakone),” says Here’s Park Slope… At the forthcoming Brooklyn Heights restaurant Colonie, you can “expect seasonal, locally sourced American cuisine with an open kitchen and counter-top dining,” says ZagatBuzz. To help with start-up costs, the owners raised $15,371 from 91 backers on Kickstarter… Eater says that there’s new signage at the Greenpoint branch of Calexico, and a restaurant called Juniper is opening at Berry at North 7th in Williamsburg… Eater also notes that the owner of Le Barricou is “opening new restaurant Maison Premiere at 298 Bedford in early January. The restaurant is reportedly based on the 1890′s French Quarter New Orleans and will mainly exist as a bar and oyster bar, offering 25 different types of oysters along with cocktails and an ‘old world’ wine.” … And Bed-Stuy Blog reports on the openings of the new Mexican joint Alcatraz and the new market/sandwich shop Cinnamon Girl.
After the jump: 3 new Brooklyn bars, where to eat near the Dyker Lights, and another look at the underrated Umi Nom…(more…)
Intrepid wanderer, and master of Forgotten New York, Kevin Walsh, has journeyed into New Utrecht and Bensonhurst for his latest blog entries. Many people don’t know that Kings County was made up of 6 original towns Brooklyn, Flatbush, Bushwick, New Utrecht, Flatlands, and Gravesend. New Utrecht once encompassed all of Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, and Borough Park. Bensonhurst was actually named for the Benson family, one member of which, Egbert Benson, was the first attorney general of New York State. New Utrecht is full of Dutch and Revolutionary War era history, with historic churches, cemeteries, and place names. Check out Kevin’s sojourn into this unique slice of Brooklyn. Photo: Reformed Church and rectory, New Utrecht. Forgotten New York: New Utrecht