A Bird’s-Eye View of Prospect Park South When It Was Young

Bird's eye view of Prospect Park South by Geo. R. Lawrence Co., circa 1907. Photo via Library of Congress

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Today it may be hard to imagine a time when the streets south of Prospect Park weren’t gently shaded with the arching branches of tall trees.

But this aerial shot of the neighborhood shows a time when the houses were fairly new, the streets were largely bare of trees and some lots were awaiting development.

The scene, which stretches roughly from Beverley Road to the Prospect Park Parade Ground, was captured around 1907 and published by Geo. R. Lawrence Co. as a view of “Prospect Park, South, Brooklyn.”

It was just in 1899 that developer Dean Alvord had begun planning what he called his “rural park within the limitations of the conventional city block and city street” with the purchase of about 50 acres of land. He installed streets divided by green parkways and constructed picturesque single-family detached houses.

By the time this photo was taken, Alvord had already moved on to another development, selling his interest in Prospect Park South to the Chelsea Improvement Company in 1905.

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The lower right hand corner of the larger image shows Albemarle Road from Buckingham Road to Rugby Road

While in this view there are still a few empty lots, some houses still standing today in the Prospect Park South Historic District are recognizable. The lower right portion of the photo shows Albemarle Road near Buckingham Road and looking closely you should be able to spot such Colonial Revival beauties as 1440 and 1510 Albemarle Road. There are also views of houses that no longer exist, like 1409 Albemarle, which was replaced by an apartment building in 1938.

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The lower left of the larger image with Beverly Road on the left

Beverley Road appears on the lower left side of the image, showing a clear view of houses along Marlborough, Rugby and Argyle roads. Look closely and amidst all the Colonial Revival houses are the fanciful Tudor Revival homes at 165 and 183 Argyle Road.

To zoom in on the houses, check out the original image at the Library of Congress website here.

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