Brooklyn, one building at a time.
This factory for the American Numbering Machine Company once shaped the economic life of East New York. Today, the building shapes the spiritual lives of its congregants.

Name: Former American Numbering Machine Company, now New Genesis Christian Center
Address: 224-226 Shepherd Avenue
Cross Streets: Corner of Atlantic Avenue
Neighborhood: Cypress Hills
Year Built: 1919
Architectural Style: 19th century brick factory
Architect: Harold G. Dangler
Other works by architect: Manufacturing buildings and garages in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens
Landmarked: No

Windows Giving Praise-Worthy Natural Light — Now Bricked-In
The American Numbering Machine Company started on Essex Street in East New York in 1908. By 1912, the company needed a new factory building with more room. Architect Harold Dangler designed and built the factory building at 224 Shepherd Avenue in 1912, and expanded it to its present size in 1919.

A 19th century-style two-story brick factory building, this facility was praised for its many windows, allowing lots of natural light into the work space. Those windows have since been bricked in and much reduced.

Pop quiz: What is a numbering machine?

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Private house
Address: 2 Miller Avenue, aka 67 Sunnyside Avenue
Cross Streets: Highland Blvd and Sunnyside Avenue
Neighborhood: Cypress Hills
Year Built: sometime between 1904 and 1908
Architectural Style: Colonial Revival
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The story: Many years ago, when I still lived in Bed Stuy, I was in the company of a friend who was always house hunting for investment properties. He generally bought foreclosures, and pre-foreclosures, and flipped them. He was interested in several houses in Cypress Hills. At the time, I had never been to Cypress Hills, and since I’m never one to turn down looking at houses, no matter where they are, I joined him. We drove all around the neighborhood, and I thought Cypress Hills was really interesting, a combination of Victorian-era houses and blocks of houses dating from the teens and 20s. One of the houses he was interested in was this one.

At the time, it was empty and semi-boarded up. The grass was tall, but the gate was unlocked, so we wandered around the property and tried to look in the windows. It was an interesting property for several reasons. First of all, the house sat on top of a hill, with the property sloping down from Highland Blvd down to Sunnyside Avenue below, a pretty steep grade. The lawns, which were pretty large, extended on both Sunnyside and Highland, and the house was smack in the middle of the lot.

The main entrance to the house was on the Miller Street side, accessible from the street by a steep set of stone stairs. You could get to the house from Highland, after walking across the large lawn, but you still had to walk around to Miller in order to get in. The entrance was a fine looking Colonial Revival portico. I remember looking in the sidelight windows and seeing beautifully patterned Lincrusta wallpaper in excellent condition in the hallway. Ok, hooked, he should buy it.

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Franklin K. Lane High School
Address: 999 Jamaica Avenue
Cross Streets: Dexter Court
Neighborhood: Cypress Hills
Year Built: 1936-37
Architectural Style: Neo-Colonial
Architect: Walter C. Martin, Superintendent of Buildings for the NYC Board of Education, and staff
Other Buildings by Architect: NYC schools built between 1928 and 1938
Landmarked: No

The story: Franklin J. Lane High School started out in a much smaller building on nearby Evergreen Avenue. It was housed in the old PS 85 building. By the end of the 1920s, this school, as well as many other high schools throughout the city, was bursting at the seams with students. Local politicians and school officials begged the Board of Ed to at least build an extension, and ground was obtained, but they dithered until at last it was decided that a new high school was needed instead. That was in 1931.