In the time period this image depicts, about 1830, the western terminus of Prospect Street was part of a busy three-way intersection that included Main and Fulton, and marked the split of traffic between the Fulton Ferry and the more eastern Catharine Ferry at the foot of Main Street.
Remarkably, several of these wood-frame buildings remained for over a century.
One of the proprietors of the Catharine Ferry lived in the front corner house, before it became Hubbard’s Dry Goods in the 1840s. The building to the right was a grocery, and the next building housed a famous local bakery in the back. Adjoining was a thread and needle shop where all the Brooklyn women were said to do their gossiping.
The edifice with the bell tower fronting Washington Street behind the row is St. Ann’s Protestant Episcopal Church, and the small structure on the corner is where Whitman attended Sunday school. The church stood from 1824 until 1880, when it was torn down to make way for the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge. Remaining buildings from this view were demolished in the 1950s for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
Below is a 1920s photograph of the corner house, by this time apparently serving as a kiosk for indiscriminate bill postings (note the attic window details that match quite closely the early illustration). More destructive to the neighborhood aesthetics and economy than even the Brooklyn Bridge was the elevated train, opened in 1888, which buried the once thriving and populous Fulton Street under a noisy tarp of dingy darkness.
The same corner, about 100 years later in the 1920s.
The corner in 2012.
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