Frontier town—or Flatbush, Brooklyn?

This gorgeous postcard, stamped 1913, claims to be the “business section” of Flatbush.

The trolley tracks seem very Brooklyn, but otherwise, it could be any town or small city in the country circa 1900.

So what stretch of Flatbush is this? A search of the Brooklyn Eagle archives turned up a “to let” listing for a Kodaks (see store sign at left) at 202 Flatbush Avenue.

That would put this image at about Flatbush and Bergen Streets.

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9 Responses to “Frontier town—or Flatbush, Brooklyn?”

  1. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    Besides the trolley tracks does Flatbush look like this? I’ve lived in Manhattan over 50 years and it’s amazing what I’ve not seen in the other boroughs.

  2. Sean Says:

    I grew up very near Flatbush Avenje and Bergen Street in the 1950s, about 50 years before this postcard.
    It is unrecognizable, even considering the passage of 50 years. I am not so certain it is near Bergen Street, which would be in Prospect Hgts/Park Slope.

    Besides, that section of Flatbush Avenue was never called “Flatbush”.

    Flatbush was a separate town further out on Flatbush Ave, beginning at Empire Blvd and extending well past Church Avenue to around Albemarle Road.

    In fact, the structure on the far right looks like portions of the Old Dutch Reform Church on Church Avenue, which still stands, opposite Erasmus Hall H.S.
    in the Flatbush section on Brooklyn

  3. wildnewyork Says:

    That’s certainly possible; it could be a different Kodaks from the one referenced in the Eagle archive.

    I wonder if the postcard manufacturers didn’t take some liberties when producing this image. To make Flatbush Avenue appear more homey?

  4. Wokaid Says:

    The book “Brooklyn’s Flatbush: Battlefield to Ebbets Field” by Brian Merlis has a 1912 photo of the right hand side of this street. The Edward Bull Real Estate storefront is clearly identifiable. The caption says it is Flatbush Ave. looking south from Cortelyou.

  5. Dave C Says:

    This looks about right: Google Maps view of Flatbush at Cortelyou

    The church and other buildings on the left side of the street don’t match the photo, but the buildings on the right side match up quite well. I think Edward Bull Real Estate is now the “Computer & DJ System” place, at 1090 Flatbush Ave.

  6. Here'sParkSlope Says:

    Most definitely not Flatbush Ave and Bergen St. I’ve seen plenty of photos of that corner from this time and the buildings there now have changed very little. Also, this neighborhood was never called Flatbush. The above commenter is right, it looks to be at Flatbush and Cortelyou.

  7. Audrey Leczinsky Says:

    202 Flatbush Ave – was a photography studio my great-great grandfather owned. Wow, I can’t believe this postcard. You are correct, its Flatbush & Bergen.

  8. wildnewyork Says:

    Wow—so that’s your great great grandfather’s studio!

  9. malbone Says:

    “Kodaks” stores were generic and quite numerous. On the other hand, the right hand side of the card shows “Edward Bull Real Estate.” The BPL collection of city directories includes one for 1908 that lists this business at 1090 Flatbush Avenue — which is indeed near the corner of Cortelyou. Mr. Bull lived close by, at 330 East 19th.

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