Bushwick Avenue in the late 19th century was lined with the mansions of local beer barons. This was back when the neighborhood was populated by German immigrants who built several successful breweries.
One mansion that still stands—and stands out—is at the corner of Bushwick and Willoughby. In the early decades of the 20th century it was the home of Frederick Cook, a doctor and explorer who claimed to be the first man to make it to the North Pole.
Unfortunately his claim was pretty much disregarded; he eventually went to prison for stock fraud and died in 1940.
But his home is still in Bushwick, between a Kentucky Fried Chicken and the elevated tracks of the M train. Reportedly Black Panthers stayed in the house in the 1970s. In 2008, graffiti mars the brick facade and the turreted roof gives it a haunted house vibe.
A pot of flowers greets guests at the front door. Despite the way it looks from the street, it’s not a totally abandoned house after all.