Posts Tagged ‘downtown Brooklyn’

“City Hall Square” in downtown Brooklyn

March 16, 2011

The postcard is dated 1910, but it must have been made earlier than that. Brooklyn ceased being a separate city in 1898, and City Hall was downgraded to Borough Hall.

In the foreground stands the Henry Ward Beecher statue, a monument to Brooklyn Heights’ most famous preacher, abolitionist, social reformer—and accused adulterer.

His adultery charges and subsequent trial in 1875 (jurors were unable to reach a verdict) became the scandal of the century.

The pink schoolhouse off Flatbush Avenue

March 27, 2009

Downtown Brooklyn can be an awfully drab place. But then at the juncture of Flatbush Avenue, Third Avenue, and Schermerhorn Street stands this lovely pink school building.


Now it houses something called Metropolitan Corporate Academy. But it used to be a regular grade school; you can still make out the words “public school” inscribed above the front door.

Kids sure had some cute buildings to doze off in back in the day.

The Brooklyn pots-and-pans peddler

January 23, 2009

Berenice Abbott photographed this vendor and his giant wooden wagon of kitchenware on May 22, 1936, probably in the downtown/DUMBO area. 


Berenice Abbott: Changing New York commented:

“Once the lifeblood of New York’s poorer neighborhoods, vendors like this traveling pots-and-pans salesman were a disappearing breed when Abbott took this photograph in 1936. . . . The location of Abbott’s photograph is not specified, but the neighborhood resembles Talman and Jay Streets, which she photographed the same day.”

So what happened to Talman Street? Once a small road that followed the remnant of a cow path, it got wiped out when the BQE was built in 1950.