Posts Tagged ‘French Flats in New York City’

Mysterious building names on Ninth Avenue

September 8, 2009

Most city tenements are marked at the top by a name, presumably of the builder, and the year the structure was completed. 

But at 744 Ninth Avenue, off 50th Street, the tenement is named “9th. Ave. Flat.” It seems to be a pretty fanciful moniker for a typical red-brick tenement building; “French flats” at the time were usually higher-end apartments for middle-class New Yorkers


Perhaps the builder had amenities inside—private baths?—that put it a notch above the usual late 19th century tenement apartment.


Also on Ninth Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen is another strangely named tenement building. I wonder what “Foresters Home” was—just a tenement put up by a man named Forester? Or maybe some kind of charity residence that housed orphans or the indigent. 

Only two 8s remains from the two inscriptions announcing the date it was built: 1880.

Brownstoner’s Montrose Morris has more on the French Flats building boom