Spotting Cinderella From the J Train

Photo by Susan De Vries


During a stroll in Cypress Hills our attention was grabbed by a glimpse of a vintage Brooklyn Union Gas sign. Visible from the platform at the Crescent Street stop on the J train is a metal sign for the Brooklyn Union Gas Cinderella Project.

brooklyn signs cinderella project

View from the J train platform. Photo by Susan De Vries

The Cinderella Project rehabilitated historic homes, stores and apartment buildings. Brooklyn Union Gas started the project in the late 1960s as a demonstration in areas such as Park Slope, where the company worked with the Brownstone Revival Committee.

Vacant buildings were purchased and renovated (with gas appliances naturally) to attract new residents and demonstrate that the existing building stock could be salvaged. The program also installed vintage looking gas lamps next to houses, many of which still survive in Park Slope and Bedford Stuyvesant.

This Cypress Hills sign bears the name of the local sponsor, Cypress Hills Local Development Corp. Since the group wasn’t founded until 1983, the sign isn’t as quite vintage as we first suspected and likely dates to the ’80s.

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