Mansard roof with dormer windows, Prospect Place. You can see them in the row of brownstones on the left in the second vintage photo, below.
IF I COULD HOP into a time machine and go back to Brooklyn in 1914, I would. I’m not sure how long I’d stay; I’d want an open return ticket, just in case I missed some things about the 21st century.
But old photographs, like the ones in this post from the site Brooklynpix, which claims the most comprehensive collection of vintage Brooklyn photos anywhere, are sure a balm for eyes tired of bad contemporary architecture, ugly cars, brash advertising signs, and lately, heaps of garbage on dirty snow.
Above, an undated view of Flatbush Avenue looking north (toward downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan) from Prospect Place. The buildings are crisp and uniform, the signage tasteful. Of course, it was all relatively new back then, this area having been developed mostly in the 1870s and ’80s. Below, the same block today. Ugh.
Prospect Place in 1914, looking east from Flatbush Avenue, below, had trees and lovely striped window awnings. The turreted building on the right, once a real estate office, is now a burrito place (one I’m kind of scared to go into).
Below, the same block as it looks today (I couldn’t get exactly the same angle as in the vintage shot without standing right in the middle of Flatbush Avenue, which would be foolhardy). The six-window-wide brownstone, third from the left in the contemporary shot, below, is the one in the left foreground of the view above.
It’s easy to match up the red building with the Romanesque arches in the picture, above, with the same one in the 1914 picture below, a slightly different angle on the same block.
If I’m not mistaken, the shop with the barber pole in front, above, is now a hairdresser’s. Some things never change.