Elton and Linwood Street

South of Atlantic

I have combined these streets for this page since they wrapped around the old Liberty Playground from 1938 to the 1970s. For Elton north of Atlantic visit Zone 2 and for Linwood north of Atlantic look under Zone 3.

240 Elton Street
Elsie Anzalone sends over pictures of a childhood home, located between Liberty and Atlantic. Check out the 1945 shot with the house decked out for V-J Day!
Liberty Playground
The playground, known as the Elton St. Park to some and Liberty Park or playground to others, opened around 1939. We have received photos from Elsie Anzalone and Cynthia Rongione and there is now a page devoted to the park which can be found here.
Rod Maggio sent this battered photo taken on the corner of Elton and Liberty in 1958; its not the location but who is in the photo that makes it interesting. "....the date was actually the 27th of June.....that's Ron "horse" Quintavalle ... getting shoes shined for his wedding, and Rodney Parker ('the shine boy") from Pitkin Ave (ashford-cleve) who went on to be nyc's most famous ticket scalper." Rodney left the ENY area in 1963 and also gained recognition for helping inner-city youths. He was featured in a book and later a movie entitled Heaven is a Playground. Parker passed away in 2007.
American Legion Parade 1946
Elsie (Paragone) Anzalone created this panoramic display of the Sperandeo Brothers American Legion Post Opening Ceremony in June of 1946 at the park. Of particular note on the far right is her Aunt Rose Catapano Romanelli with brother Frank who fought at Bastogne (the Battle of the Bulge). To the left of that photo is Frank flanked by Elsie's uncle Peter Romanelli and father Peter Paragone.
Sperandeo Brothers American Legion Post 1982
From Rod Maggio's 1982 series, the post was located on the east side of Linwood Street between Libery and Atlantic. Taken shortly before it was moved to Woodhaven.
Bungalow Bar, Ice Skating
Elsie also provided a 1941 shot of those famous Bungalow Bar trucks making the rounds near Liberty Park. That's her aunt Vi Catapano about to help herself. On the right, Elsie sent this 1942 shot of aunt Margie Catapano ice skating in the park. That's Linwood Street in the background and the house on the far right is featured below.
361 Linwood Street, 1944
Unfortunately, to create that playground they had to push out residents in that area. Danny Blanda sent over these two pics of 361 Linwood. The first is of his dad Daniel and grandfather, Nicholas Blanda. Danny's grandfather owned a lot of property in the area and they were forced to move the house across the street to the lot he owned at 361 Linwood. Some people will recall he ran a funeral home (note the 'undertaker' sign). The second is of his dad looking a little north; both shots date to 1944.
Linwood Street, 1934
Danny also sent this great shot which complements the photos above. That's his uncle Benny standing next to a 1934 Packard Phaeton Cabriolet. He's in front of their house at 366 Linwood, and you can see the empty space across the street where they will place the house above. Yes, that's a new car during the depression, but Benny was also an undertaker and that business was recession proof.
I.S. 302
The playground was replaced by I.S. 302 in the 1970s. You can see in the Local Live aerial image that it now spans from Cleveland to Linwood and the playground area on the left is today referred to as the Sperandeo Brothers playground. That's my brother Lou in front of the school after a blizzard in 1977.
Hell's Half Acre, Elton and Glenmore
Rod Maggio sent in this great shot looking east down Glenmore from Elton in August of 1955. The area, dubbed "Hell's half acre" for sordid going-ons, was anchored by Sal and Mary's Luncheonette on the corner. Pictured: Vito "willie" Capitelli, Vinny "guinea" Gandolfo, George Frusco, Carlo Barocco, Frankie Cruet. On the right, a view north up Elton from the same corner in 1955. Pictured:Ronnie "Horse" Quintavalle, 376 Warwick St..Vito "Willie" Capitelli, 338 Warwick St..Joe "Jocko" Catapano, Pitkin-Jerome..Frank Villeco..125 Montauk Ave, kneeling: Joe Marsala, 2994 .Fulton St...John "Chutzie" Ciacco, 241 Schenck Ave.
Glenmore Community House
These pictures aren't strong, but Dr. Frances Collato documents the Glenmore Community House, which was located at 715 Glenmore Avenue between Cleveland and Elton Streets. These 1958 images commemorate the crowning of a queen and subsequent parade for an Italian Feast, probably associated with St. Rita's.
Miss Polisi Piano Class, 1947
On the opposite corner, Elsie Anzalone recalls; "Ms. Caroline Polisi's piano class - she gave lessons in her house which was on the corner of Glenmore and Elton above a bar & grill. Walking there from my grandfather's house, you passed Giliberti's drug store on the corner of Elton and Liberty and the candy store across from the park, the chicken market, (where you would buy freshly killed chickens) oh, the odor, and further down the street was the junkyard garage right across from the chicken market". This picture is not of ENY, it is of the class in Manhattan for a competition.
There's a party goin' on... Elton and Sutter, 1942. Neil takes a second stab at pinpointing the location; it now appears to be east of Elton, though there's no party in Neil's 2006 shot.
Synagogues
Chevre t'hilim was located on 515 Elton St. between Sutter and Blake. Switched over to East New York Seventh Day Adventist Church in 1971. The congregation dates to 1910, and this building was dedicated in 1925. Near the roofline in sandstone the original name is spelled out in Hebrew. The background information comes from Ellen Levitt's Lost Synagogues of Brooklyn.Thanks again to Demetrius for the shot.
St. Barnabas, Friendship Baptist
Andrew Santoriello tipped me off about two churches in this area. Both St. Barnabas, located on the northeast corner of Elton and Belmont, and Friendship Baptist, located on Elton just south of Belmont, were listed as "colored" churches in the Brooklyn Eagle 1924 directory. The directory dates the St. Barnabas congregation to 1907 and Friendship Baptist to 1910. Ronnie Amerise sent the 2007 of himself in front of St. Barnabas. Chris Cuschieri lived in that white house across the street from St. Barnabas and provides some great background.
Friendship Baptist
Thanks to Demetrius Pestun for the 2008 image here and of St. Barnabas above. Andrew Santorielli recalls; "Used to walk past Friendship Baptist Church on my way to a Kosher Deli on Sutter Avenue between Elton and Linwood. Had the greatest corned beef, and pastrami. The singing coming from the church mesmerized me. Friend of mine also attended that church." Chris Cuschieri also has memories of the church.
Chris Cuschieri's brother Tony also adds some contributions. That's a picture of Tony and Chris with their dad in the side yard of 728 Belmont. Tony adds; "..we have a very big fenced in garden. My Mom was born in North Carolina. In our garden we planted vegetables that my Mom liked which were Collards & turnips. We lived near to black churchs (St Barnabas & (Friendship Baptist)), after service one Sunday some church members were passing by our garden & saw the collards & asked if we would sell them some greens, my Dad said sure. So for the next 20 years my Dad sold Collards & tomatoes from our garden to defray the expense of the property taxes." Tony also supplied the backyard image with St. Barnabas visible in the background.
On the left , Tony took this shot of the property catty-corner across from them in 1979, after the building was destroyed by a fire. It used to house the practice of Dentist Dr. Falk. Ronnie Amerise provides an updated view from 2007.
Ronnie Amerise sent these similar shots of himself and several brothers of the DeMarco family at 446 Elton street in 1951. Nice brickwork. The house was across from Friendship Baptist, and Ronnie recalls Fr. Benedict from St. Barnabas on the corner.
Tony Cuschieri asked me to find the 1941 tax photo of the northeast corner of Linwood and Sutter. Tony had vivid memories of the man who lived there in his time. "That building had a man that lived in it. He was a hermit type fellow, very tall and had been very handsome. When this fellow lived in the bldg it had no retail activity as shown in the photo, rather this man would put in the window items of culture, the bust of a composer or the cover of the NY Daily news magazine section that might be a photo of a ballet dancer or musician. There was a huge contrast between the man that rummaged thru garbage & the man that put those items in the store window. He passed away when I was maybe 17 or 18 his bldg was broken into & ransacked by people looking for something valuable....This fellow was either a German soldier or was part of a legion of the Third Reich." The building is now gone.
Pride Of Judea Orphan Home
Located at 992 Dumont Avenue, the south side between Elton and Linwood, the Home opened in 1923 as an alternative to foster care for Jewish children who were either orphaned who whose parent(s) could not care for them. Two residents, Phil Craft and Stan Friedland, wrote a fine memoir in 1998 of the home entitled An Orphan has Many Parents. These pictures are courtesy of Stan who also runs a website for alumnae of the Home, which can be found here. The home closed in 1959 and became a Mental Health Clinic, which transferred to Douglaston Queens in 1972. The City bought the property in 1976, and built low-rise housing here in the early 1980s.
New Lots Ave., Looking West From Essex St. and St. Gabriel's Church, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Dated:1910 Maker: Unk Status: Need
This building was the original P.S. 64, moved around 1900 and converted into a church. Marge Bivona recalls receiving her first communion there in 1957. Marge also attended the school from 1958-1964 and confirms it was newly built at the time. Both Marge and Rod Maggio date the new building to 1958. Jim Cichetti recalls that when they finally torn down the old church they found blackboards from P.S. 64 in the walls. Thanks to Neil Sullivan for the 2006 image.
St. Garbiel's R.C. Church, East New York
Dated:unk Maker: Kraus Status: Own (RG)
This view is south, and the angle is such that I cannot tell if the corner house, an old farmhouse, was still standing. (That can be seen on the New Lots Road page.) The brick building in the background, facing Linwood Street, is the rectory and is still standing today, seen on the right. It was on the 1908 maps but I don't have a build date. These Kraus cards date to 1913-1915.
St. Gabriels 1st grade, 1963
Diana Lenz sent in her first grade picture from 1963, and recalls that when Kennedy was shot Sister Rose led all the students into the church to pray.
St. Gabriels School
Thanks to Marge Bivona for sending over a picture of the school, which faces Essex Street. Marge also sends her 8th grade class graduation picture from 1964. We are still trying to find out if a school pre-dated the 1958 building and the current status. Ed Farrell did provide some insight; "I grew up from 1945 to 1950 living on Linwood Street and Blake Avenue. At the time, St. Gabriel Church was a very small parish staffed by three priests... At the time, the parish was definitely too small to support a school. Children from St. Gabriel's parish went either to St. Rita School or PS 202."
Jim Cichetti adds some details; "In the Fall of 1958 Grades 1 through 6 were started in the brand new school building with a school principal Sister Margaret Joseph. I was in Grade 6 with Sister Ann Walter, and in June 1959 we were promoted to a brand new Grade 7 with Sister Stevens. This process continued in 1960 when Grade 7 was promoted to Grade 8 with Sister Delorese Rosaire, thus finishing the complete range of Grades 1 through 8. We graduated in 1961." Note- my research indicates the school closed in 1974.
St. Gabriels
An aerial shot from 1951 and a current Local Live image show the changes that took place circa 1958. Lisa Leonetti adds; "I spoke to my dad and he says that there was a small wooden church on the St. Gabriel's site since he was a little boy (that's 80+ years ago) It was always St, Gabriel's, and he said it was sitting on a huge piece of empty property until the around 1956 or so, when they built both the school and the church.. He says that there was a house which was used for a rectory, tennis court, handball court and two big garages there on the St. Gabe's site.. They removed the tennis court and the garage, and that's where they built the school (Essex St, Side) they built the Church on Linwood st side."
ENY Buccaneers, 1941
From Andrew Santoriello, a shot of his brother Frank's team in 1941. The shot was taken in a lot next to the New Lots train yard, off Linwood Street just south of Linden Boulevard. The yard, which is the tail end of the Livonia Ave line, can be seen in the background.