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The Brownstone Detectives

The Brownstone Detectives Historical research for your New York City property. We investigate its past and reveal its stories.

The Brownstone Detectives is a "sleuths for hire" research team. We investigate the histories of buildings and the people who lived and worked in them. We do the gumshoe work of digging up the former owners (the live ones, that is), interviewing neighbors and residents, and researching official documents at City agencies and historical archives. We then produce the entire report in an attractive,

The Brownstone Detectives is a "sleuths for hire" research team. We investigate the histories of buildings and the people who lived and worked in them. We do the gumshoe work of digging up the former owners (the live ones, that is), interviewing neighbors and residents, and researching official documents at City agencies and historical archives. We then produce the entire report in an attractive,

Operating as usual

When I got out of the car to take pictures of these 3 fire-damaged BedStuy houses on Sumpter St, I was approached by the...
12/15/2022

When I got out of the car to take pictures of these 3 fire-damaged BedStuy houses on Sumpter St, I was approached by the demo crew. "Are you a contractor?" "No," I replied. "Are you an investor?" "No," again.

Apparently, these 3 lots are going to make a gargantuan apartment building.

https://twitter.com/BrownstoneDetec/status/1603032856783118336

THE PSYCHE OF No. 192 ST. JOHNS PL (1889) Almost as soon as  were being built - designers were reimagining them.
11/18/2022
THE PSYCHE OF 192 ST. JOHN’S PL. (1889) – The Brownstone Detectives

THE PSYCHE OF No. 192 ST. JOHNS PL (1889) Almost as soon as were being built - designers were reimagining them.

Not only did such articles describing the interiors of neighbors’ homes sell newspapers, but the articles also served as advertising directed at those in the market for a townhouse who wanted a home of their own.

When bicycles were in their infancy, Chas. Schwalbach smartly sold more than just wheels. On Flatbush Ave. near Prospect...
11/17/2022
The Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

When bicycles were in their infancy, Chas. Schwalbach smartly sold more than just wheels. On Flatbush Ave. near Prospect Park, he set up a "Riding Academy."

“When bicycles were in their infancy, Chas. Schwalbach smartly sold more than just wheels. On Flatbush Ave. near Prospect Park, he set up a "Riding Academy." ”

SO, A TROLLEY WALKS INTO A BODEGA…. (1931) We’ve all heard the famous opening line to the joke. But this one really happ...
11/17/2022
SO, A TROLLEY WALKS INTO A BODEGA…. (1931) – The Brownstone Detectives

SO, A TROLLEY WALKS INTO A BODEGA…. (1931) We’ve all heard the famous opening line to the joke. But this one really happened.

This incident took place on 7 July 1931, at the corner of Putnam and Nostrand avenues in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Fortunately, no one was killed, although six people were injured.

In 1887, when Brooklyn's Colored School No. 1 became Public School No. 67, the transition was overseen by its principal,...
11/17/2022
The Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

In 1887, when Brooklyn's Colored School No. 1 became Public School No. 67, the transition was overseen by its principal, Charles A. Dorsey, after whom the school is named today.

“In the 1879s, when 's Colored School No. 1 became Public School No. 67, the transition was overseen by its principal, Charles A. Dorsey, after whom the school is named today.”

HE KNOWS HIS JEWELS ARE SAFE (1892) The  at No. 165 Washington Park held a gift from the President in its jewel vault be...
11/16/2022
HE KNOWS HIS JEWELS ARE SAFE (1892) – The Brownstone Detectives

HE KNOWS HIS JEWELS ARE SAFE (1892) The at No. 165 Washington Park held a gift from the President in its jewel vault beneath the sidewalk... https://bit.ly/3Tbykqu

the of YOUR house?

When Dr. Alexander F. Carroll married the eldest daughter of Brooklyn Democratic Boss, Hugh McLaughlin, in 1890, the New York Times reported that the “wedding gifts were of the most costly and elaborate nature.”

PATRONAGE & PLUMS - No. 398 HENRY ST (1895) When the 6th Ward Dems opened a Cobble Hill clubhouse, it was described in e...
11/16/2022
PATRONAGE & PLUMS, No. 398 HENRY ST (1895) – The Brownstone Detectives

PATRONAGE & PLUMS - No. 398 HENRY ST (1895) When the 6th Ward Dems opened a Cobble Hill clubhouse, it was described in exquisite detail in the press. https://bit.ly/3V2rfdj

the of YOUR house?

“The house is a three-story and basement structure. As it is now, the basement is transformed into a pool and billiard room, and from the cellar to the roof the premises are heated. The parlor, of course, comprise the second floor. There is an expanse of Brussels carpet which covers the entire spa...

A VIEW DOWN SHINBONE ALLEY (1900) “The alley is paved and flagged, and has for years, after nightfall, been the haunt of...
11/16/2022
The Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

A VIEW DOWN SHINBONE ALLEY (1900) “The alley is paved and flagged, and has for years, after nightfall, been the haunt of a crowd of idle young fellows, who give the police a good deal of concern.”

“A VIEW DOWN SHINBONE ALLEY (1900) “The alley is paved and flagged, and has for years, after nightfall, been the haunt of a crowd of idle young fellows, who give the police a good deal of concern.” ”

WHEN THE DEKALB AVE STATION WAS YOUNG... (1912) The station would open in 1915 & was completed in 1920.
11/16/2022
The Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

WHEN THE DEKALB AVE STATION WAS YOUNG... (1912) The station would open in 1915 & was completed in 1920.

“WHEN THE DEKALB AVE STATION WAS YOUNG... (1912) vs. TODAY. The station would open in 1915 & was completed in 1920. ”

BUILDING 'S SUBWAYS (1909) Fall scenes on Willoughby & Flatbush - selling a "desirable plot," hanging the wash out to dr...
11/16/2022
The Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

BUILDING 'S SUBWAYS (1909) Fall scenes on Willoughby & Flatbush - selling a "desirable plot," hanging the wash out to dry, & surveying the land...

“BUILDING 'S SUBWAYS (1909) Fall scenes on Willoughby & Flatbush - selling a "desirable plot," hanging the wash out to dry, & surveying the land...”

BUILDING THE BOWERY SUBWAY (1902) The lower right section shows where the most acute triangular bldg in  sits today (Ble...
11/16/2022
The Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

BUILDING THE BOWERY SUBWAY (1902) The lower right section shows where the most acute triangular bldg in sits today (Bleecker St & Elm [now Lafayette] St).

“BUILDING THE BOWERY SUBWAY (1902) The lower right section shows where the most acute triangular bldg in sits today (Bleecker St & Elm [now Lafayette] St).”

VICTORIAN TIMES SQUARE? (1900) Love the detail of Broadway & W. 43d St, .
11/16/2022
The Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

VICTORIAN TIMES SQUARE? (1900) Love the detail of Broadway & W. 43d St, .

“VICTORIAN TIMES SQUARE? (1900) Love the detail of Broadway & W. 43d St, . ”

IT HAPPENED HERE (1893) The infamous 25th Ward Republican Club once held its "rigged" primary election from the basement...
11/14/2022
The Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

IT HAPPENED HERE (1893) The infamous 25th Ward Republican Club once held its "rigged" primary election from the basement window of this , No. 57A Somers St, .

the of YOUR home?

“IT HAPPENED HERE (1893) The infamous 25th Ward Republican Club once held its "rigged" primary election from the basement window of this , No. 57A Somers St, . the of YOUR home?”

BICYCLE WEEK!Check out this full page of 1923  ads for bikes, bicycles, & biking!
11/14/2022
The Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

BICYCLE WEEK!

Check out this full page of 1923 ads for bikes, bicycles, & biking!

“BICYCLE WEEK! Check out this full page of 1923 ads for , , & ! ”

FINDING YOUR  – IN 1924. See the aerial views of of your  nabe in the '20s - FREE!
11/14/2022
FINDING YOUR BROWNSTONE – IN 1924 – The Brownstone Detectives

FINDING YOUR – IN 1924.

See the aerial views of of your nabe in the '20s - FREE!

Aerial photography exists of all of New York City’s neighborhoods and is available to view (and zoom in on!) for free just by visiting NYC Map (a service of the City of New York).

THE VIRUS TAKES A WOMAN MARINE (1918) During WWI, the USMC began allowing women into their ranks. But Pvt. Patterson pro...
11/10/2022
THE VIRUS TAKES A WOMAN MARINE (1918) – The Brownstone Detectives

THE VIRUS TAKES A WOMAN MARINE (1918) During WWI, the USMC began allowing women into their ranks. But Pvt. Patterson probably didn't expect to lose her life recruiting in Manhattan.

Read her story ==>

In 2014, The Brownstone Detectives partnered with the New York City Parks Department to help celebrate the lives of the servicemembers of Bedford-Stuyvesant Heights who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Great War.

TWO MEN & A SHINE (1916) SW cor. of 14th St & 6th Ave, Greenwich Village, Manhattan.
11/10/2022
The Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

TWO MEN & A SHINE (1916) SW cor. of 14th St & 6th Ave, Greenwich Village, Manhattan.

“TWO MEN & A SHINE (1916) SW cor. of 14th St & 6th Ave, Greenwich Village, . ”

CPL. JAMES D. IRWIN (A BEDSTUY HERO) lived at No. 324A Decatur St, Brooklyn, but died “while acting as a stretcher beare...
11/10/2022
CPL. JAMES D. IRWIN (A BEDSTUY HERO) – The Brownstone Detectives

CPL. JAMES D. IRWIN (A BEDSTUY HERO) lived at No. 324A Decatur St, Brooklyn, but died “while acting as a stretcher bearer" in the WWI Hindenberg offensive.

Read his story: ==>

In 2014, The Brownstone Detectives partnered with the New York City Parks Department to help celebrate the lives of the servicemembers of Bedford-Stuyvesant Heights who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Great War.

HOW OLD IS YOUR ? There are many ways to find out. One, is using old insurance maps ==> https://on.nypl.org/3NR7VxaThey'...
11/10/2022
NYC Fire Insurance, Topographic and Property Maps

HOW OLD IS YOUR ? There are many ways to find out. One, is using old insurance maps ==> https://on.nypl.org/3NR7Vxa

They're FREE! (1/5)

Over the past decade NYPL has digitized nearly 9,000 pages from 162 atlases documenting New York City's changing geography and built environment. The majority of these maps are fire insurance maps (some of the most detailed city maps ever published) depicting building footprints, lot dimensions, sho...

A BROWNSTONE ROW IN KODACHROME (1959) Nos. 57-69 Lafayette Ave, cor. Fulton St, Downtown  (c/o ).
11/10/2022
The Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

A BROWNSTONE ROW IN KODACHROME (1959) Nos. 57-69 Lafayette Ave, cor. Fulton St, Downtown (c/o
).

“A ROW IN KODACHROME (1959) Nos. 57-69 Lafayette Ave, cor. Fulton St, Downtown (c/o ).”

Children w/tricycles at a puddle near a curb in Washington Square, Greenwich Village, ca. 1948
11/09/2022
The Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

Children w/tricycles at a puddle near a curb in Washington Square, Greenwich Village, ca. 1948

“Children w/tricycles at a puddle near a curb in Washington Square, ca. 1948 (c/o ). Greenwich Village, ”

When researching our clients' properties, we often find the original "FOR SALE" ads (Parkside Ave btwn Flatbush & Bedfor...
11/09/2022
The Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

When researching our clients' properties, we often find the original "FOR SALE" ads (Parkside Ave btwn Flatbush & Bedford Aves).

Do you know the History of YOUR brownstone?

“When researching our clients' properties, we often find the original "FOR SALE" ads (Parkside Ave btwn Flatbush & Bedford Aves). the of YOUR ? Prospect Lefferts Gardens, ”

LT. SAMUEL J. REID (A  HERO) lived at No. 757 Hancock St. He died in the “active front on the Vesle” in France.Read his ...
11/09/2022
LT. SAMUEL J. REID (A BEDSTUY HERO) – The Brownstone Detectives

LT. SAMUEL J. REID (A HERO) lived at No. 757 Hancock St. He died in the “active front on the Vesle” in France.

Read his story ==>

In 2014, The Brownstone Detectives partnered with the New York City Parks Department to help celebrate the lives of the servicemembers of Bedford-Stuyvesant Heights who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Great War.

A HOUSE WARMING at No. 276 HICKS ST (1939) After sculptor William Zorach & wife bought this carriage house, he transform...
11/07/2022
The Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

A HOUSE WARMING at No. 276 HICKS ST (1939) After sculptor William Zorach & wife bought this carriage house, he transformed it into his studio/residence & sent out this invitation!

“A HOUSE WARMING at No. 276 HICKS ST (1939) After sculptor William Zorach & wife bought this carriage house, he transformed it into his studio/residence & posted this invitation! Heights ”

YES, NYC HAD A BAR ON EVERY CORNER (1914) No. 212 7th Ave @ W. 22nd St.
11/07/2022
The Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

YES, NYC HAD A BAR ON EVERY CORNER (1914) No. 212 7th Ave @ W. 22nd St.

“YES, HAD A BAR ON EVERY CORNER (1914) No. 212 7th Ave @ W. 22nd St (c/o ).”

THE EFFECTS OF WAR ON BED-STUY (1918) During WWI, Bedford-Stuyvesant East was decimated by its loss of men (& 1 woman) o...
11/07/2022
THE EFFECTS OF WAR ON BED-STUY (1918) – The Brownstone Detectives

THE EFFECTS OF WAR ON BED-STUY (1918) During WWI, Bedford-Stuyvesant East was decimated by its loss of men (& 1 woman) on the front. See who they were & where they lived: ==> https://bit.ly/3T8m3TA

https://twitter.com/BrownstoneDetec/status/1589611125758464002

During the brief period that the U.S. was engaged in WWI, the eastern section of Brooklyn’s Stuyvesant Heights section was decimated by its contribution of men to the war effort. Then, it was decimated a second time by the generous contribution it made of many of these mens’ lives.

I'D LIKE TO SOLVE THE PUZZLE, PAT (1916):"HELL THAT'S FINE!! - GEM DRAMA QUEEN RAZOR!" (Did I get it RIGHT?)(cor. Leonar...
11/04/2022
The Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

I'D LIKE TO SOLVE THE PUZZLE, PAT (1916):

"HELL THAT'S FINE!! - GEM DRAMA QUEEN RAZOR!" (Did I get it RIGHT?)

(cor. Leonard St. & Metropolitan Ave, , )

“I'D LIKE TO SOLVE THE PUZZLE, PAT (1916): "HELL THAT'S FINE!! - GEM DRAMA QUEEN RAZOR!" (cor. Leonard St. & Metropolitan Ave, , ”

BLUE PRINTS! When a client asked us to investigate their   home, we went  & dug up these vintage architectural drawings ...
11/04/2022
The Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

BLUE PRINTS! When a client asked us to investigate their home, we went & dug up these vintage architectural drawings (No. 295 Stratford Rd).

But that wasn't ALL THAT WE FOUND! See our Twitter post for MORE!

“BLUE PRINTS! When a client asked us to investigate their home, we went & dug up these vintage architectural drawings (No. 295 Stratford Rd). But that wasn't ALL THAT WE FOUND! ”

WHICH LANDMARKS TO DEMOLISH? (1913)  once planned to use eminent domain to demolish these  Heights : Nos. 137-141 Clinto...
11/03/2022
WHICH LANDMARKS TO DEMOLISH? (1913) – The Brownstone Detectives

WHICH LANDMARKS TO DEMOLISH? (1913) once planned to use eminent domain to demolish these Heights : Nos. 137-141 Clinton St.

Why? ==>

These brownstones were “substantial residences” in the “Court Street Section” comprising Nos. 24 to 40 Schermerhorn Street and Nos. 141 to 137 Clinton Street.

WHO LIVED IN YOUR OLD HOUSE? Most brownstone owners can dig up the History of their homes w/just a little sleuthing. HER...
10/31/2022
DO YOU KNOW WHO LIVED IN YOUR OLD HOUSE? – The Brownstone Detectives

WHO LIVED IN YOUR OLD HOUSE? Most brownstone owners can dig up the History of their homes w/just a little sleuthing.

HERE'S HOW ===>

Most people don’t know that the entire history of their homes can be dug up with a little bit of elbow grease. While Brownstone Detectives provides this service to clients, we are always more than happy to help homeowners to do the digging themselves.

BURIED ALIVE IN BROOKLYN! How not to get buried alive, & what to do if you are...
10/31/2022
BURIED ALIVE IN BROOKLYN! – The Brownstone Detectives

BURIED ALIVE IN BROOKLYN! How not to get buried alive, & what to do if you are...

Research performed toward the end of the 19th century indicated that approximately 700+ cases of being buried alive had been documented. Such premature burials apparently took place in nearly every major city, in numerous small towns, and across the world.

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Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm

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Comments

Just found your page. I lived on Halsey St., in the '50's, between Saratoga & Howard. Your stories are fascinating. Thanks.
Macon Street?
The Brownstone Detectives May serve as a viable resource to assist with consolidating detailed historical documentation, imagery, information, etc. concerning a myriad of projects and cases.
When we started renovating our house, we began to find the things left behind by former owners...
28 McKinney Queens in1915 what is the address now?
Thank you for your post of a few months back on the 40th anniversary of the Bushwick fires. My brother and I often frequented Ruth and Sam Book Store since we were comic book collectors. It was a devastating moment when it burned down. I recently wrote about my experiences and linked to your post:
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