This is one of our favorite early Brooklyn photos: Taken in 1906, it's called "Post Office and Eagle Building. Brooklyn, N.Y." The cobblestone street was named Washington Street. It is what we call Cadman Plaza East today. Make sure you go to the original site, Shorpy, to see the photo at full size. The detail is magnificent.
We're looking south. The buildings on the right, which include several dance academies and newspaper offices, including the Brooklyn office of the New York Times and the Standard-Union building, were knocked down to build Cadman Plaza Park. A couple of snappily-dressed men are walking in front of the dance studios. One is carrying several packages. We can see only one woman, on the far left, wearing a long skirt.
Straight ahead we can faintly see Brooklyn Borough Hall and the dome of the spectacular old Kings County Courthouse. Designed by Gamaliel King, it was razed in 1961 after "bitter controversy," according to Old Brooklyn. Brooklyn Law School is now on the site.
To the far left is the Alcazar Theatre where they held "smoking concerts." (The U.S. District Court is there today.) Continuing on the left, past the Alcazar, is the same Post Office we have today.
(Tillary Street would later cross roughly between the Alcazar and the Post Office.)
According to Andrew Porter (see comment below), the Alcazar is where the 1920s addition to the Post Office building was erected. Tillary Street is roughly where the photographer is standing, so you can't see the elevated train there.
Just past the post office on the left is the beautiful Brooklyn Daily Eagle building. Make sure to look at the full size image to find the eagle at the top of the building and the great bronze eagle over the door at the bottom. (See another photo of this street on page 50 of Old Brooklyn.) The Eagle building and the building beyond it were later knocked down to build the Supreme Court building. Pity.
If you follow the trolley tracks you can see the top of a trolley car peeping out from behind the first horse wagon (best seen in the full sized photo). Those tracks were recently ripped out and thrown into a dumpster when they redid the paving in front of the courthouse at the Post Office, according to Andrew Porter at this post.
The snappily-dressed men, the Alcazar, the Brooklyn Eagle building, the dance academies -- they are all gone, but they live on in this photo.
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