11 April 2014

Two Stories of Beauty at Henry and Union

I am quite familiar with the northeast corner of Henry and Union Streets in Carroll Gardens. I've eaten many a slice of pizza there over the years, first at Nino's, a neighborhood institution that closed in 2007, and then at its replacement, the not-dissimilar Francesco's. A recent rent shake-up caused Francesco's to move and reopen in what was once half of its former space, on Henry Street; the other half, on the corner, is empty for the time being.

Going into the new half-Francesco's recently, I spotted on the wall the above photograph, which told me something about the corner's pre-Nino's history. That the area was once occupied by a candy store and a dairy shop of some sort is less interesting to me than the look of the building in this 1940s photo. Today, the two, two-story storefronts attached to those two Henry Street brownstones are covered in nondescript red brick. They are not attractive.

In this photo, however, the two storefronts are just gorgeous. Look at that curbing, long cornice, that immense stretch of plate glass. If I'm not mistaken, there's some stained-glass panes on top of each larger window.

Based on the below photo of the intersection, taken in the 1970s, that lovely architecture was gone by then. (The corner is in the top left corner of the photo.)

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