I found some fantastic old images of Grant Square while poking around the other night, so I decided to run a little "now & then" gallery. First, click through the pages of this book, Old Brooklyn in Early Photographs by William Lee Younger, and then compare them to the ones above, taken a few weeks ago (there's a nearly identical gallery with slightly higher-quality images here). The major changes are the shift from theater to church (a common occurrence in these parts) on the part of the Loew's Bedford (now the Washington Temple), and the disappearance of the spire/tower on top of the Union League Club of Brooklyn (once the center of Republican life in Brooklyn, and the erectors of the Grant statue, now serving as the Fort Greene Grant Square Senior center). For another "then" image, check out this pastel postcard/print.
The NYSun did an article on the area two years ago, which includes some very ornate apartment blocks and some impressive brownstones and brick rowhouses on adjacent streets. The square also houses the Bedford-Atlantic Armory, which is a whole story of its own, though from a purely architectural perspective, it adds to the grandeur of the space.
Two unrelated notes:
- I didn't have a camera handy, but the Imperial Motorcycle Club was having one heckuva party on St. Marks and Franklin this afternoon.
- Don't forget the next installment of the Franklin Park Reading Series tomorrow night (see below for more details)!