Building of the Day: 16 Nevins Street


Photo: Property Shark

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: 16 Nevins Street, between Flatbush and Livingston.
Name: Formerly Joe’s Restaurant, now Metro Deli
Neighborhood: Downtown Brooklyn
Year Built: new facade in 1922
Architectural Style: Alpine Tudor
Architects: Arthur Starin
Landmarked: No

Why chosen: During the 1920’s and early 30’s, the nation fell in love with Tudor and medieval architecture. At the same time, it also fell in love with storybook architecture, pre-Disneyesque fantasy buildings whose inspirations were more Hollywood than Holbein. Before you knew it, buildings with half timbered construction, sharply peaked roofs and casement windows became the status symbols of the new monied suburbs, as well as middle class city apartment buildings. The Tudor style was even translated into commercial buildings. Downtown Brooklyn has several of these little gems, and this is the best one. We can argue if the style is mock-Tudor, or more Swiss Alps, but it certainly is unique. It was built in 1922 for restauranteur Joseph Sartori. His restaurant, called Joe’s, was a favorite spot for politicians, judges and civic leaders. The facade cost him $40,000, and was designed by architect Arthur Starin. In the closeup, after the jump, note the hand hewn beams, great little dormers, the diamond paned window and the cat on the chimney. Very detailed and great stuff! I used to work in the area in the 90’s, and always wondered about this building. Thanks to Christopher Gray and his Streetscape column in the NY Times for the answer.

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