Thursday, November 13, 2014

Clock, 346 Broadway

The New York Times wrote today about the clock I photographed in 1996. from my visit.  Thanks to Marvin Schneider for arranging access.  Marvin and a partner rebuilt the clock many years ago as a public service.
According to the article, the building, at 346 Broadway, was sold by the city and will be turned into luxury apartments.  Promises have been made about preserving the working clock, which needs to be wound and oiled regularly, so who can say if it will be saved.
UPDATE 3/21/16: A State Supreme Court ruling has given the Landmarks Preservation Commission power to protect the clock.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

All the Dutch Houses in Brooklyn, plus Three Cemeteries, and One Bee Sting

I traveled by bicycle to all 13 known Dutch houses on the streets of Brooklyn.  There are also two inside the Brooklyn Museum, but I'll save them for another day.  The 28-mile ride started near Lefferts Homestead in Prospect Park.  The original Lefferts house, constructed around 1687, was burned by American troops during the Battle of Brooklyn so that English troops could not use it.  It was rebuilt in 1782, a few blocks from its present location and then moved to the park.  (

Lefferts Homestead, Prospect Park

Most of the houses are in the southern half of the borough, but the next stop after Lefferts was the Bloom Stoothoff House, at 494 Jamaica Avenue:

Jamaica Avenue was one of the original Indian paths in Brooklyn, but that's for another trip.

After cycling almost to the Queens border I rode back west and then south to the Wyckoff House at 5816 Clarendon Road, the oldest house in Brooklyn:

From there I biked south on Ralph Avenue, then East on Flatlands Avenue, where there are several Dutch houses.  Flatlands, or Amersfoort, was one of the original Dutch towns, centered at Flatbush Avenue and Kings Highway.  

  Stoothoff-Williamson House, 1587 East 53 Street

 Stoothoff-Baxter-Kouwenhoven House, 1640 East 48 Street

The Lott House, at 1940 East 36 Street, was being restored.  I wonder how old the trees are.

Two more houses are nearby:

Elias Hubbard Ryder House, 1926 East 28 Street

Wyckoff-Bennett House, 1662 East 22 Street

On to Gravesend, founded by the Englishwoman Lady Moody, where three houses are located, along with two connected cemeteries.  

Hubbard-Lucchelli House, 2138 McDonald Avenue

Ryder-Van Cleef House, 38 Village Road

Moody-Van Sicklen House, 27 Gravesend Neck Road

Across the street from the Moody House are the Van Sicklen and Old Gravesend Cemeteries:

From here I rode back towards Flatlands and my encounter with The Wrong Kind Of Bee.  Just as I turned onto East 22 Street something, possibly caught under my helmet, stuck a needle into my head. I stopped at the house and took pictures, then waited to see if I had a bigger problem.

Coe House, 1128-30 East 34 Street

Other than the needle pain I felt fine, so I went a few blocks to the Flatlands Dutch Reformed Church, by way of Hubbard Lane, which was one of the original roads of Flatlands, and probably an Indian path as well.  The church is on Kings Highway near Flatbush Avenue.

The church buildings are not original, having been hit by lighting and burned down several times.  But the cemetery was open:

From there to the last house of the day:

Van Nuyse-Magaw House, 1042 East 22 Street

On the way home I realized that I could also stop at the Flatbush reformed Dutch Church, also a newer building, but with a cemetery dating to at least the 18th Century:

From there I rode home, realized I was having an allergic reaction to the bee sting, and went to the Emergency Room to have it checked out.  

Thanks to John Antonides at the Brooklyn Museum for posting a map of all the houses: