When you have eight minutes to spare, wander over to the Brooklyn Heights Blog and watch Mr. Junkersfeld's video about what the Cadman Plaza area in Brooklyn Heights/ Downtown Brooklyn looked like before they built the park and knocked down the Fulton Street El.
The sight of an elevated train running around Borough Hall Plaza is pretty shocking. Take a look at the photo we borrowed from that period from the Library of Congress (above left). We're looking north from Borough Hall.
Behind the elevated train is a building that, at first glance, appears to be the present day Post Office. But note the shape of the tower is slightly rounded. What we're seeing is actually the old Brooklyn Eagle building, which was north of the Post Office.
It was a beautiful building but it was knocked down to build the present day Supreme Court building (left).
Henry Ward Beecher's statue
was moved from Borough Hall Plaza to its present location at the north end of Columbus Park, near the Post Office (photo, right).
It's amazing to see the El running along what is now called Cadman Plaza West (back then it was called Fulton Street). The tall Cadman towers were not yet built.
All in all, it appears that Cadman Plaza and the surrounding neighborhood was a much more congested urban environment than it is now. Kudos to Mr. Junkersfeld for this great effort.
To see an absolutely unbelievable photo of what is presently called Cadman Plaza East with the Post Office, Brooklyn Eagle building, Alcazar Theater, a dance academy and Brooklyn Borough Hall in the distance, see http://www.shorpy.com/node/4342?size=_original
Print on top left courtesy of Library of Congress
All other photos copyright MK Metz
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