When we posted this week's Cornerspotter, we knew that Curbed commenter Ferryboi would probably know the location, and he did not disappoint us. The photo, taken by Bernice Abbott, shows houses at 340-348 St. Mark's Place on Staten Island in 1937. Since the 1960s, the site has been occupied by a city building that houses various offices and courts. We were mistaken when we said both homes are gone?the turreted house is still there (it's further from the church than we thought), visible in the Google satellite image posted after the jump. Ferryboi, as well as a few other commenters, provided some great details about the church and neighborhood today.
The church in the photo (Brighton Heights Reformed Church) actually burned down in a spectacular fire during renovation work in the late 1990s. A very similar (albeit larger) church is now in the same location. The turreted home in the center was used as office space for the Staten Island Railway (at least in the mid-'90s when I applied for a conductors job with the railway: glad I didn't get it, because they phased conductors out when the MetroCard began use in 1997). As for what's there now, the "Richmond Building" at 320 St. Marks Place was built in the late 1950s-early '60s and houses various city and county offices. The Richmond County Traffic Court used to be there, but I believe they outgrew the space and moved to the DMV offices in Travis. Between the Richmond Building and the new Brighton Heights Reformed Church stands a cool example of mid-1970s architecture that housed a Manufacturers Hanover/Chemical Bank prior to Chemical's merger with Chase. It's now used as office space.
Two other guests commented on the architecture of the neighborhood homes:"The good news is that if you walk a little way west down St. Mark's Place you come upon a spectacular collection of Victorian houses running along a ridge with even more spectacular views of the harbor." "This part of SI has some awesome old homes. St. Pauls Ave in nearby Stapleton is a goldmine of Victorian homes that have been renovated, and St. George is just a stone's throw away from the ferry terminal."
Thanks for playing!
· Hint: These Houses Are Gone, But The Church Still Stands [Curbed]
· Photo: St. Mark's Place, 1937 [MCNY]
· Cornerspotter archives [Curbed]