Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Former Fourth Unitarian Church, now Unity East Church Center
Address: 185 East 19th Street
Cross Streets: Corner of Beverley Road
Neighborhood: Ditmas Park
Year Built: 1906
Architectural Style: English Arts and Crafts
Architect: W. Leslie Walker
Other Work by Architect: Unitarian Church, Montclair Women’s Club and suburban mansions in Montclair, N.J.
The story: Grosvenor Atterbury an important early 20th century architect, with projects in the city and the wealthy surrounding suburbs. His career stretched from the mid 1890s until the early 1950s. During his most prolific period during the first two decades of the century, his firm was fielding over 1300 projects at a time. They designed entire neighborhoods, such as the Forest Hills Gardens development for philanthropist Mrs. Russell Sage. Atterbury and his firm were also known for their large, lavish suburban homes which were designed for the tony new suburbs becoming popular for the banker and CEO set. They designed homes in Westchester County, Long Island and towns like Montclair, N.J. One of the associates in the firm at this busy time was W. Leslie Walker.
Walker and Atterbury designed several projects together during their association, most of which were in Montclair. Both men also shared an interest in affordable housing, and considered themselves city planners, as well as architects. They worked together on several model towns for the workers in several industries and planned affordable homes that could be built anywhere. Walker lived in Montclair and was asked to design private homes, as well as public buildings. He designed the Montclair Women’s Club, several beautiful suburban mansions, and the Unity Chapel for Montclair’s Unitarian Universalist Congregation. And that’s how this ties into Ditmas Park. (more…)