Dumbo Then and Now: Front Street East Garrison St


Corner of York and Front St

 September, 2009

In this series of “Dumbo Streetscapes Then and Now”, a 1938 photograph by photographer P.L. Sperr is looking down Front Street from what used to be known as Garrison Street (renamed York Street since the addition of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway). The building on the right is 70 Washington Street, and the center/left building is 45 Main Street. The far building in the center is the existing 55 Washington Street.

The original caption in the back of the photo reads: “Front Street, east from Garrison Street. April 4, 1938”

Today’s view, 71 years later, is pretty similar to the 1938 photo at first glance. The building structures are pretty much in tact, and the lot in front of 70 Washington was used as parking, just as it is now. The parking lot is owned by the Jehovah’s Witness (aka The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society). Because the Landmarks Preservation Commission granted landmark status to these buildings in Dumbo, the building exterior won’t change much in the future as well. However, the parking lot sits outside of the LPC boundaries for the Dumbo Historic District, which means the land owners may be allowed to build something on that plot someday.

One observation is the advertising for lofts on top of the 45 Main Street building in 1938 is similar to what it is today. in 1938, the ad space states: “Realty Corp. Lofts to-let”. Today, the building owner, Two Trees Management, has a sign that states: “Live. Work. Play. DUMBO” (Flickr photo)

{New York Public Library photo of Front Street – Garrison Street (1938)}
{Dumbo Then and Now, series, DumboNYC}
{Google Street View, from York St}

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