16 July 2012

The Weiner Brothers

This building on Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn—currently housing Prospect Heights Beer Works a home-brewers supply shop—caught my eye. It's an interesting shape (it's triangular, something you can't see in this photo) and then there are those three sets of large metal brackets at the top that appear to have no current use.

Could the Weiner Brothers have something to do with those brackets? Their name is on the cornice, which states the brothers built the structure in 1912.

Weiner Bros. was a furniture concern. (It was not a a dry goods store, as this faded ad blog attests Those appear to be two separate ads, side by side.)

Harris Weiner died in 1917. I assume he was one of the brothers. Beyond that, I can't find out much about the business, or the building. Which is too bad, because I'd really like to know what happened with the cornice inscription. I looked at that thing for a long time. There seems to be a misspelling or something. Between the "W" and "N" there appear to be two "E"s and an "I" all mashed up together. What the heck happened? Did the engraver misspell the name, thinking it was "Weener," and then, when he found he was wrong, just stuck in an "I" rather than start over, because that would have cost too much? The world will never know.


Mitch said...

Maybe when he made a mistake he filled in the wrong engraving with some material that has fallen out over the years.

Do we know that the brothers weren't called Weener?

Sneakeater said...

If it's triangular, I assume it's on one of those streets like Underhill (actually, maybe Underhill is the only one) where the streetbed was evidentally realligned at some point, so that there are buildlings with acute angles to accomodate the new street bed while following the old one? (Like on lower 6th Ave. in Manhattan.)

Maybe Underhill used to be parallel with Washington?

Billy of Brooklyn said...

Harris Weiner was my grandfather, and Weiner Bros. was a furniture store. (at one time they also had a clothing department) I don't know why the name on the cornerstone is screwed up. I'll try to find some earlier photos. That may shed some light on it. I think the "brackets" may have been attached to awnings. All of the windows had awnings to shade for sun, and the brackets are original to the building. The top floor was an apartment where the family lived. Again, I'll try to dig up some old photos. The faded AD, which reads H Weiner dry goods, on the brick wall of another building refers to a dry goods store also owned by my grandfather on Washington Ave (I think across the street). It predates the furniture store by about 12 years. I was really surprised to come across your blog!

Billy of Brooklyn said...

Oops. One more thing. The building was not triangular. It was either rectangular or a parallelogram. The building was gutted during the 90s. Maybe it was rebuilt on a triangle base.

Unknown said...

Hey, cousin! I can't believe this worked. I found an obituary of Harris Weiner while doing a search for my great-grandmother's name "Celia Swoff" She was Harris' brother. I've been doing some research trying to track down my great-grandmother's siblings and just happened to discover this post while looking for more information on the Weiner Brother's store. I'd love to share knowledge.