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, hard-bound, colorfully illustrated, and engagingly written coffee

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, hard-bound, colorfully illustrated, and engagingly written coffee

Operating as usual

Vintage Brooklyn high school postcards, ca. 1908. BEAUTIFUL or CREEPY?
12/17/2021

Vintage Brooklyn high school postcards, ca. 1908.

BEAUTIFUL or CREEPY?

The Old Fountain at Division & Bedford Aves, Williamsburg; built in 1878, demolished in 1927 due to "THE INCREASE IN AUT...
12/17/2021

The Old Fountain at Division & Bedford Aves, Williamsburg; built in 1878, demolished in 1927 due to "THE INCREASE IN AUTOMOBILE TRAFFIC." 🧐

SHAKESPEARE AT NO. 24 BREVOORT PL (1928) Did priceless works of the Bard once occupy this #Brooklyn #brownstone library?...
12/17/2021
SHAKESPEARE AT NO. 24 BREVOORT PL (1928) – The Brownstone Detectives

SHAKESPEARE AT NO. 24 BREVOORT PL (1928) Did priceless works of the Bard once occupy this #Brooklyn #brownstone library?

The president of the Standard Oil Company was so smitten with Shakespeare’s works that, in 2014, a book, Collecting Shakespeare, was published about Folger and his collection.

A WILLOW GREW IN BROOKLYN HEIGHTS (1938) Was this the original willow of Willow Street?
12/09/2021
A WILLOW GREW IN BROOKLYN HEIGHTS (1938) – The Brownstone Detectives

A WILLOW GREW IN BROOKLYN HEIGHTS (1938) Was this the original willow of Willow Street?

(In September of 1938, one of the deadliest and most destructive tropical cyclones to hit Long Island, New York, “The Long Island Express,” wrecked havoc on the peninsula and much of Brooklyn, as well. In addition to killing 682 people and damaging or destroying more than 57,000 homes (causing p...

Who did carriage houses better? The 1940s or 2020s? (No. 90 Park Place, Park Slope, #Brooklyn)
12/08/2021

Who did carriage houses better? The 1940s or 2020s? (No. 90 Park Place, Park Slope, #Brooklyn)

wow seriously though I didn't realize the tree was all that.... We should put the Christmas tree on the flag.
12/08/2021
Bobby Lewis on Twitter

wow seriously though I didn't realize the tree was all that.... We should put the Christmas tree on the flag.

“Ainsley Earhardt on the Fox Christmas tree: "It's a tree that unites us. It brings us together. It's about the Christmas spirit. It is about the holiday season. It's about Jesus. It's about Hanukkah. It is about everything that we stand for as a country." https://t.co/fV8Hg2juHI”

WHEN #BROOKLYN WAS (PRE-) FAB (1946) Post WWII, a Quonset hut surplus existed. So, NYC used them for veteran housing.
12/06/2021
The Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

WHEN #BROOKLYN WAS (PRE-) FAB (1946) Post WWII, a Quonset hut surplus existed. So, NYC used them for veteran housing.

“WHEN #BROOKLYN WAS (PRE-) FAB (1946) Post WWII, a Quonset hut surplus existed. So, NYC used them for veteran housing. https://t.co/tB67B0DAou”

DEAN STREET WOOD FRAME HOUSES (Nos. 357-367, nr. 4th Ave), 1929; the #Brooklyn Industrial HS For Girls is under construc...
12/06/2021
The Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

DEAN STREET WOOD FRAME HOUSES (Nos. 357-367, nr. 4th Ave), 1929; the #Brooklyn Industrial HS For Girls is under construction, at left.

“DEAN STREET WOOD FRAME HOUSES (Nos. 357-367, nr. 4th Ave), 1929; the #Brooklyn Industrial HS For Girls is under construction, at left.”

No. 5619 4th Avenue (jut off 57th Street) on 10 March 1913. This would have been referred to as "Bay Ridge" back in the ...
11/03/2021

No. 5619 4th Avenue (jut off 57th Street) on 10 March 1913. This would have been referred to as "Bay Ridge" back in the day, Sunset Park today.

No. 5619 4th Avenue (jut off 57th Street) on 10 March 1913. This would have been referred to as "Bay Ridge" back in the day, Sunset Park today.

This Ditmas Park house has a curiously Socialist lineage...
11/02/2021
THE MARXIST AT No. 477 E. 16th St. (1910) – The Brownstone Detectives

This Ditmas Park house has a curiously Socialist lineage...

Louis B. Boudin was a Russian-born American Marxist theoretician, writer, politician, and lawyer, who wrote a two volume history of the Supreme Court’s influence on American government as well as his piece de resistance, The Theoretical System of Karl Marx in the Light of Recent Criticism, first p...

Today's quiz - #WTF?:1. They ran out of paint. 2. This was how high the ladder went. 3. This IS the design.
10/25/2021
The Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

Today's quiz - #WTF?:
1. They ran out of paint.
2. This was how high the ladder went.
3. This IS the design.

“Please answer - #WTF?: 1. They ran out of paint. 2. This was how high the ladder went. 3. This IS the design.”

#BROWNSTONE DETECTIVES PRO TIP: If you see a black dot on a @nycrecords #TaxPhoto, it means it was rejected and there's ...
10/25/2021
The Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

#BROWNSTONE DETECTIVES PRO TIP: If you see a black dot on a
@nycrecords #TaxPhoto, it means it was rejected and there's another photo out there. :)

“#BROWNSTONE PRO TIP: If you see a black dot on a @nycrecords #TaxPhoto, it means it was rejected and there's another photo out there! 😁”

I translated "Yankee Doodle" for confused modern audiences:Yankee Do**us went to townA-riding on a pony,Stuck a feather ...
10/22/2021
The Macaroni in 'Yankee Doodle' Is Not What You Think

I translated "Yankee Doodle" for confused modern audiences:
Yankee Do**us went to town
A-riding on a pony,
Stuck a feather in his cap
And called it GOAT.

Meet the stylish gender-role rebels of 1770s England.

SAGAMORE PLEASURE CLUB (No. 955 Pacific St, Prospect Heights, #Brooklyn) #NYC #brownstones #History
09/23/2021

SAGAMORE PLEASURE CLUB (No. 955 Pacific St, Prospect Heights, #Brooklyn)

#NYC #brownstones #History

JOHN E. SULLIVAN, DEVELOPER OF BAY RIDGE (1910) "...it should far outstrip the Bronx in the near future." #NYC #Brooklyn...
09/23/2021

JOHN E. SULLIVAN, DEVELOPER OF BAY RIDGE (1910) "...it should far outstrip the Bronx in the near future."

#NYC #Brooklyn #brownstones #History

pic.twitter.com/55O0EOT5zN

Was there a #SPEAKEASY in your #brownstone? During #Prohibition, No. 232 53d St was one of #Brooklyn's many "blind tiger...
09/23/2021

Was there a #SPEAKEASY in your #brownstone?

During #Prohibition, No. 232 53d St was one of #Brooklyn's many "blind tigers."

pic.twitter.com/VzV6bZya1C

Flipping off the Google Maps guy from your stoop is a time-honored tradition... (No. 325 50th St, Bay Ridge, #Brooklyn, ...
09/09/2021

Flipping off the Google Maps guy from your stoop is a time-honored tradition...

(No. 325 50th St, Bay Ridge, #Brooklyn, #NYC, ca. 2011)

#brownstones #history

What were these??? Covered balconies w/a false gabled roof behind??? Is that skylight showing thru??? (Nos. 452-4 48th S...
09/01/2021

What were these??? Covered balconies w/a false gabled roof behind??? Is that skylight showing thru???

(Nos. 452-4 48th St, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, NY)

Peary discovered the North Pole with the financial help of men like Anton Raven, No. 864 President St, Park lope, #Brook...
08/05/2021
Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

Peary discovered the North Pole with the financial help of men like Anton Raven, No. 864 President St, Park lope, #Brooklyn.

“Anton Adolph Raven, the "Dean of Cosmopolitan," owned the #brownstone at No. 864 President St. in Park Slope, #Brooklyn. He was one of 6 men who helped Peary reach the North Pole. #NYC.”

More than 100 years ago, the stoop leading to the parlor of No. 107 Joralemon St - disappeared.
08/03/2021
HOW TO REMOVE A BROWNSTONE STOOP (1905) – The Brownstone Detectives

More than 100 years ago, the stoop leading to the parlor of No. 107 Joralemon St - disappeared.

The stoop, like a timeless portrait’s gilded frame, is a vital element to the design and use of the townhouse. It carries the focus of the viewer into the house itself, just as the stoop physically transports the resident bodily into the house.

BUSHMAN STEPS at 157th St, Washington Heights. Baseball fans once used them to get to the Polo Grounds. #NYC #Historypic...
07/27/2021
Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

BUSHMAN STEPS at 157th St, Washington Heights.

Baseball fans once used them to get to the Polo Grounds.

#NYC #History

pic.twitter.com/NP0hChy1to

“BUSHMAN STEPS at 157th St, Washington Heights. Baseball fans once used these steps to get to the Polo Grounds. #NYC #History”

MEASURING THE "DEPTH" OF A ROAD (1940) #NYC would soon "raise" this unpaved roadway to level it w/the houses. See 2018 @...
07/27/2021
Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

MEASURING THE "DEPTH" OF A ROAD (1940) #NYC would soon "raise" this unpaved roadway to level it w/the houses. See 2018 @Googlemaps to compare. (Hazen Street, #Queens, Nos. 21-40 & 44, at 71st St)

pic.twitter.com/JclF99WrXu

“MEASURING THE "DEPTH" OF A ROAD (1940) #NYC would soon "raise" the unpaved roadway to level it w/the houses. See 2018 @Googlemaps to compare. (Hazen Street, Queens, Nos. 21-40 & 44, at 71st St)”

A low-key wedding in this Park Slope #brownstone forever changed American #history. (No. 210 St. Johns Pl.)
07/27/2021
THE DUKE OF No. 210 ST JOHNS PL (1907) – The Brownstone Detectives

A low-key wedding in this Park Slope #brownstone forever changed American #history. (No. 210 St. Johns Pl.)

It was no ordinary wedding, however. For the ceremony was about to join a young widow of the borough to one of the most successful businessmen of the country – and one of its most ruthless trust violators – the “Tobacco King.”

EASTERN PARKWAY HEIGHTS? What realtors did to sell #brownstones & #limestones... :) (@BklynEagle, 1909)
07/25/2021
Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

EASTERN PARKWAY HEIGHTS? What realtors did to sell #brownstones & #limestones... :) (@BklynEagle, 1909)

“EASTERN PARKWAY HEIGHTS? What realtors did to sell #brownstones & #limestones... :) (@BklynEagle, 1909)”

Early architectural drawings were often published in newspapers. Here, No. 465 Clinton Ave, #Brooklyn, ca. 1903 - & Toda...
07/25/2021
Brownstone Detectives on Twitter

Early architectural drawings were often published in newspapers. Here, No. 465 Clinton Ave, #Brooklyn, ca. 1903 - & Today.

#NYC. #browntones #History

“Early architectural drawings were often published in newspapers. Here, No. 465 Clinton Ave, #Brooklyn, ca. 1903 & Today, #NYC. #browntones #Hisstory”

The word "Gaseteria..." Was that a cross between "filling station" and that great Southern word, "washateria"?(Location:...
07/22/2021

The word "Gaseteria..." Was that a cross between "filling station" and that great Southern word, "washateria"?

(Location: Southwest corner of Houston at Lafayette, ca. 1979)

Address

New York, NY

Opening Hours

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

Telephone

+17184847607

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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: