22 October 2012

THE UNION STREET PROJECT: 141 Union Street, Redux

This is the latest 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. 

I wrote about 141 Union Street for this series back in June 2011. Among the things I discovered at that time was that, in the 1920s, the address 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 was not able to learn anything more about the shop.

Now, more than a year later, I do know more. I was contacted by the great-grandnephew of the owner. He told me the pastry shop was run by his great uncle, Pietro Bottaro. (The shop was thus called P. Bottaro, not R. Bottaro as I stated previously.) He came from Palermo, Sicily, around 1907-10, and opened the pasticceria around 1910. "His brother was my Grandfather who settled in Boston in 1907," wrote the reader. "My mother said they would always get a box of Italian cookie for Christmas from Uncle Peter. His wife was Vincenza and his children Salvatore, Anthony, Albert, and Santina. They lived at 17 1st Place in Brooklyn." The shop was there until sometime in the 1940s.

The best part of this new communication was the photo that the reader sent along, of his great uncle standing proudly in front of the store. Here it is:

Pretty natty dresser. I can attest that the brickwork and the curved pipe at the foot of the storefront are still there and look the same.


Anonymous said...

I was googling my madain name "Bottaro" and came across your story. The picture of that man Peter Bottaro is my great grandfather. I would love to find our more information/ family back ground if possible? My email is lmasotti@optonline.net I would greatly appreciate it!

Lisa Masotti

Brian C said...

I am also related to Peter Bottaro. His brother in the Boston area was my great-grandfather. When I lived in Brooklyn, my grandfather always mentioned that there had been a family bakery there. I often wondered where it was located. I never knew until your post that it had been just a few blocks away from my apartment on Carroll Street.

Brian C
btasc2008 AT gmail.com