Posts Tagged ‘history’

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Past Uncovered: The Hotel Granada

October 22, 2007

granada-1950s-small.jpgThe Hotel Granada (pictured left, in the 1950s, courtesy of Brooklyn Public Library) once stood 16 stories tall at 268 Ashland Place between Lafayette and Fulton.  Completed in 1927 (according to this DOB document), it immediately became a stomping ground for the borough’s wealthier residents and their visitors.  Brooklynites celebrated weddings and other milestones in its Forsythia Room.  Well into the 1960s, the hotel was a favored venue for events in the area.  (A commenter in this Brownstoner post claims that visiting baseball teams used to stay there when playing the Dodgers.)

Fort Greene resident James Irons, who moved into the neighborhood in 1970, told me about the hotel at that time in a recent email:

By then was very quiet.  There was a restaurant on the ground floor on the corner, the Gondola I believe.  Used to see proper old white ladies going in for an afternoon cocktail and meal with their white gloves and hats.  As the area declined there were ideas about turing the hotel into student housing for arts students in conjunction with BAM.  Nothing came of the idea and the hotel changed hands and became one of the areas welfare hotels. It was renamed the Brooklyn Arms and the ground floor was converted into a laundromat.

Indeed, by the early 70s, the hotel had begun its transformation into a welfare hotel, one of over 60 that would eventually dot the city.  In the mid-1980s, the hotel had become a notorious blight to the struggling-to-imrove neighborhood.  BAM in particular took issue with the Granada (by this time called the Brooklyn Arms), which sat caddy corner to the academy and whose residents, as described in this New York Times article, intimidated concertgoers and created a general atmosphere of unwelcomeness as the venue strove to attain world-class status.  The resentment of hotel residents toward well-heeled BAM patrons is not surprising, given the inhumane living conditions in the once grand building; no hot water, roach and rodent infestation, toilet paper shortages, broken elevators, large families in single rooms, and rampant drug dealing.

In July, 1989, the last homeless family moved out of the Granada, as the city of New York closed down its countless welfare hotels.  After that, all that remained was one man who had lived in a rent-controlled apartment in the hotel for decades and could not be forced out.  In 1994, the Hotel Granada’s legacy came to an unceremonious close as the hotel was demolished and the site turned into a parking lot for BAM.

Granada then (Courtesy of Brooklyn Pix):
granada-then-small.jpg

Granada site now:
granada-site-now.jpg

More pics of the Hotel Granada:
Street view from the early 1960s, with BAM (hotel is near left)
I’ll be posting more as I come across them.

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Becoming Fort Greene

October 19, 2007

From the July 3, 1896 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle:

The Society of Old Brooklynites met in the hall of records last night.  The principal business of the meeting was to indorse [sic] the movement of the Daughters of the Revolution to have the common council change the name of Washington park to Fort Greene. 

See the article in its original format at the following link:
Want it Called Fort Greene (courtesy of the Brooklyn Public Library)

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More Historical Photographic Goodness at Atlantic and Flatbush

October 2, 2007

Gowanus Lounge just posted another old photo of the “Times Plaza,” as it was once called.  It’s similiar to the one we posted last week, but from a slightly different angle and un-color retouched…

Earlier: A Former Version of Atlantic and Flatbush

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A Former Version of Atlantic and Flatbush

September 25, 2007

Atlantic Center

Awhile back, I came across this old picture of the present-day Atlantic Center, where Atlantic and Flatbush meet.  On the left, where the row of brownstones is visible, is where the Williamsburgh Bank Building (One Hanson Place) currently stands.  The heading of the photo says “Times Plaza” — does anyone know if this is indeed the former name of this junction?

I don’t know when this photo was taken, but I believe that the Williamsburgh Bank was built in the 1920s, so it must pre-date that decade.

I can’t remember where I found the photo, so if it’s yours, let me know and I’ll happily credit and/or link you.

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