Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Former Frederick Loeser & Co. warehouse and stable, now Salvation Army depot and store
Address: 22 Quincy Street
Cross Streets: Corner Downing Street
Neighborhood: Clinton Hill
Year Built: 1902
Architectural Style: Romanesque Revival factory/warehouse
Architect: Unknown, perhaps George W. Morse, or Francis Kimball
Other work by architect: Morse: Downtown store buildings for Frederick Loeser, Abraham & Straus, as well as Temple Bar Building and Franklin Trust Building, Brooklyn Heights. Kimball: Buildings for Frederick Loeser, as well as Montauk Club and Emmanuel Baptist Church
The story: Most of this week’s BOTD’s have been commercial or factory buildings, and here’s another. I’ve been shopping or donating to this Salvation Army facility since the early 1980s, but only recently actually looked at the building. It’s quite nice, and has not been changed much since it’s been built. It’s had a long history, and started out as a warehouse and stables for Frederick Loeser & Company, one of Brooklyn’s largest and most prestigious department stores.
Frederick Loeser & Co. was founded as a dry goods store in 1850, on Fulton Street. Loeser partnered with lace importer William Gibb in 1887, and the two built one of Brooklyn’s finest and largest department stores. By the early 1900s, the Gibb family was running the store, and expanded their warehouse and storage facilities well beyond their huge downtown Fulton Street location. They appealed to the upscale carriage trade, and one of their amenities was door to door delivery. They started out with horse drawn delivery wagons, and then moved to gas an electric powered motor vehicles.
The building is a great old Romanesque Revival warehouse, with arched windows and decorative banding and terra cotta trim. The architect may have been either Francis Kimball or George Morse. Both did work for Loeser’s, and both were adept at this style and both were quite used to using terra cotta ornament and other details of the building. Morse designed the beautiful Abraham and Straus warehouse on Gallitan Place and Livingston Street, while Kimball designed the large extension of the Loeser store, on Elm Street. Both were prominent architects with a large history of fine buildings in Brooklyn.
The Brooklyn papers have ads going back to 1902 for drivers, with occasional ads for blacksmiths and farriers, updating to chauffeurs and drivers for their motor fleet, by 1917. The warehouse held stock, which was delivered from this location. The huge building appears on a 1904 map of Brooklyn. Loeser’s was in business until 1952, when a changing market, and the death of the Gibb family members who were the chief executors of the business all died off. I was not able to find out when they sold the building, but there are no newspaper mentions of any other businesses between it being a Loeser’s warehouse and the home of the Salvation Army.
The Sal was here when I moved to Brooklyn in 1983, and was here in the late ’70s when I visited my friend who went to Pratt. I still have a piece of furniture I bought here for $14. They may have moved in way back in the 1960s, or earlier. They are still here today, and were the happy recipients of much of my stuff when I was moving to Troy. I hope they are there a long time. GMAP
(Photo: Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark)