13 June 2011


This is the ninth post of "The Union Street Project," in which I unearth the history of every building along the once bustling Brooklyn commercial strips of Union Street between Hicks and Van Brunt, and Columbia Street between Sackett and Carroll.

The buildings 141, 143 and 145 Union Street were built as a block. Aside from various modern paint jobs, and certain filled-in windows, they are near-identical. They stand out on the block for a number of reasons. They are four stories tall on a block of three-story buildings. The lintels are very decorative, and the cornices are intact. I have not been able to discover the name of the builder of the three structures, but he's to be applauded.

The westernmost building is 141 Union Street. All three building once had stores on their ground floors, though only one has a working business today. In the 1920, 141 Union was the home to a lovely looking pastry shop, as you can see from the Municipal Archives photo below. R. Bottaro Pasticceria was the name of the place. I have not been able to learn anything more about the shop.

I also learned that 141 Union was a boarding house around the turn of the 20th century. And a boarding house quite well known to the police it was! In 1888, a man named Robert Morris, who lived here, charged his wife with being a "habitual drunkard" who had not been sober in three months time. She was sent to the "Inebriates Home." This same Robert Morris, a tailor who seems to have had a hard life, was accused of stealing a coat in 1886. The charge was dismissed, as the owner of the coat had refused to pay for the repair work Morris had done.

In 1897, John Drummond, who resided here, was almost killed by Palo Bartolo. Bartolo was arrested. Meanwhile, a nice Swedish girl, newly landed and living here, was looking for housework in 1889. I wonder if she knew the Morrises.


1 comment:

john said...

My Great Uncle Pietro Bottaro owned and operated that Pasticceria. It is not R. Bottaro but P. Bottaro. He lived on 17 1st place a few blocks away with his wife Vincenza, sons Salvator, Anthony, Albert, and daughter Santina.