Wednesday, February 06, 2008

When The Corner Of President And Smith Street Had Style!


Here is a beautiful old photograph of the corner of President Street and Smith Street on April 17, 1928. Nice, no? The building at the corner was probably taken down when the subway was built. The site remained an open lot for decades. Today, the building which houses Rite Aid gives that corner a much different look.
How difficult would it have been to try to match the new building to the original.

Thanks to neighborhood friend Barbara for sharing the picture!

For more historical pictures of that corner, click here:

The Very Fashionable Corner Of Smith And President Streets Early 1900's

Pardon Me For Asking


Anonymous said...

The problem is Carrol Gradens/Boerum Hill/Cobble Hill et al has no specific zoning laws about the style of it's buildings. I don't mind a chain drug store on Smith St per se but when it looks like it belongs in the suburbs it's a problem. In Saratoga Springs NY their main st. has seen a huge grown in chain stores but the city requires all new buildings keep the style of the victorian look. The nighborhood needs the same kind of rules to prevent the Manhattanization of the neighborhood.

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Wow!! It was so charming and's a souless pharmacy. I'm getting so tired of all the charming places closing in New York to be replaced by the likes of Dunkin Donuts :-(

Anonymous said...

Guess I will try again, hoping you dont scrub comments that you dont agree with.
This could be so much worse. They did a nice job with this building: they set it back from teh street, provided trees, built it low, used masonry, incorporated residential onteh second floor, etc. If I was teh developer or architect, you can bet I would have wrung more out of this property. The fact that we cannot have everything live in a B&W photo fantasy world, doesnt mean every place new is by its nature ugly. This place is a case in point.

Anonymous said...

to further anonymous's point, I live on President between Smith and Hoyt and was 1 of the few neighbors who started the grassroots movement to prevent the parent company of Echart drugs from putting up a big cinder block box store. We came up w/ a fair comnpromise w/ the help of local architects working pro bono, which is a lot more than we are able to do now w/ the new deep pocket developers taking over our neighborhood now.....

Raised in Carroll Gardens said...

To Both Anonymous Writers:
I'm new to this blog, so forgive my late input.

Where Rite Aid is now was an empty lot, a used car dealer (who was a crook, by the way) and an empty lot, again.

This 1st "Box Store" around the park should be held up as an example of The RIGHT WAY to fit into an older, established neighborhood.

Yes, they have a huge Set-Back.
Yes, people can walk past without being smashed by people enerting or exiting the store.
Yes, they have trees (which survived - not like the ones being thrown infront of the school & in Carroll Park)
Yes, it's not TOO Tall.
Yes, the lighting fixtures look nice (almost period) - - - Does anyone remeber how dark that corner used to be? How the darkness would help with the over-flow of drug sales from the park?
Yes, NOT cinder Block, but real brick.

The only problem with Rite Aid is that they are NO longer Echart.
While it was Echart they would NEVER put thier trash out before they closed at night - Rite Aid puts out trash any time they feel like it and it sometimes sits there all day. Also, Echart paid their staff better and, in turn, the store was kept cleaner and the workers were nicer.