Zone 4
East of Euclid, North of Atlantic

Zone 4 roughly equates to the neighborhood of Cypress Hills. Note there are separate pages for Euclid Avenue, Crescent/Hemlock, Nichols, Pine and Elderts Lane.


Click on thumbnails to enlarge

Weismantel's Showboat
On the far right of the 1941 tax photo sent in by Tim O'Reilly is Weismantel's Showboat, a catering hall. . In 1872 George Distler's Hotel and Brewery sat in this location, followed by Harmon's Casino Grove. By 1948 it was known as Weismantel's Hotel. Tony Davenport first reminded me it was called Mickey Alan's by the 1970s, and Rod Maggio sent in a menu from 1982. Rod notes that Mickey was close friends with Floyd Patterson, the heavyweight boxing champion. For more pictures and history, visit the Showboat page.
Jamaica Avenue Entrance to Cypress Hills Cemetery
Maker: Wm Fick Dated: unknown Status: need
Great shot from early 1900s with a running trolley and the Cypress Hills station in the background.Take a close look at that station. It was the last stop of the BMT line at the time. Go to the Crescent Ave. page for more details.

Entrance to Cypress Hills Cemetery
Maker: Wm. Fick Dated: Unknown Status:Own(RG)
Another great similar shot, with a horse drawn carraige. The arch dates from 1893. We now have a page devoted to the Cypress Hills Cemetery located here.
Joe and Sons
Sitting on the south side of Jamaica Avenue near Autumn is Joe and Sons, an auto shop that has been around since the 1960s. They have a great picure hanging in the office which ties to the cemeteries across the street which you can see below. Thanks to Peter Stango for discovering the gem and sending over a picture of the shop.
Cemeteries
There are 2 smaller cemeteries east of Cypress Hills; the first is Maimonides and the second is Mt. Hope. This early image we believe dates to the 1880s and shows the building long before those glass domes were removed. This is now the rear entrance for Maimonides and is no longer used. Maimonides was a 12th century Rabbi and is credited with writing out the first systematic code of Jewish law.
Cemeteries
Moving further east down Jamaica Avenue we come to Mount Hope Cemetery. Kurt Eger contacted us, his father was a caretaker and they lived here from 1958 to 1970! The story gets better; his father fought for the German side during World War II and was a POW in Nebraska and Missouri after the war, yet became a caretaker for a Jewish cemetery! His sister, Ursula Trojcak "graduated from PS 171 and from Lane in 1969- she was the Queen of the Lane prom in 1969. She told my father that she would not get married while we still lived at Mount Hope- the thought of her walking out of the front door in a wedding dress to enter a waiting limousine was too much Munsters and Adams family for her to bear." That's Kurt and friend Dennis Friscia in 1985 on the right.
Bands
Kurt follows up with two priceless time capsule photos. "My various rock bands would rehearse in the meeting room at Mount Hope and cars that waited at the stoplight at Jamaica Avenue and Nichols Avenue would often be treated to "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" and "Wooly Bully" among other hits." Pictured on the left is "Seclusion, a blues- rock band that rehearsed at the drummer's house on Miller Avenue. Left to right is George Prechtl (in cape and beret), Jimmy Custer, Dennis Gustaferri, Dennis Friscia in shades and me. All of us from East New York. The photo is from about Novem ber of 1968. Notice the front facade of Lane in the left of the photo." On the right, "is a shot of the Cypress Hills Grave and Memorial Blues Band circa 1968. This is inside Mount Hope Cemetery. From left to right it's yours truly then Mike Armando of Elderts Lane, Dennis Friscia and my brother John." Big thanks to Kurt for those.
Kurt also sent another rock band shot, this of "We Forsaken", taken in October 1966 inside Mt. Hope. The plaques behind them are dedicated to deceased Board of Directors of the cemetery. I like the lo-tech band label on the drum. The guitarist in the middle, Peter Tarantola, was ID'd by his niece and his daughter.On the right, a family photo taken in on the cemetery grounds in winter of 1963.
Kurt keeps it rolling with this shot of the family ready for the Brooklyn Day parade in 1961. The view is south from Mt. Hope across Jamaica Avenue and Kurt points out the Nichols Inn in the background. On the right, his sister Ursula is standing next to his dad's 1959 Plymouth Fury, with FK Lane in the background. That shot is from 1963.
3296 Fulton Street, 1925
Another of my favorite shots, contributed by Peter Stango. It is his grandfather's grocery, located on the south side of Fulton between Euclid and Pine St. It was DeStefano's, and the picture on the right was taken in 1916. In the cart are Peter's Uncle Lou (right) aunt Christina (middle) and a family cousin.
Therese Panariello sends over a shot of her parent's wedding reception at Club 880 in 1952. Located on Jamaica Ave. between Hemlock and Autumn, the building was replaced in 1996.
Church of the Transfiguration, Autumn and Ridgewood Ave.
Neil Sullivan sent over this 2006 photo of the church on the southeast corner of Ridgewood and Autumn, now called Mt. Zion. It looked familiar and I found a historic photo of the church from 1909 when it was known as the Church of the Transfiguration. The Episcopalean congregation starts in 1894 as a mission by Crescent and Jamaica Ave., presumably in a storefront or apartment. They move to a building on Fulton Street near Autumn Ave in 1899. In 1901, plans to build a new church on Euclid and Ridgewood are opposed by Trinity Episcopal Church over on Schenck and Arlington, for fear of splitting the parishioners. The Diocese decides not to issue a permit and the building is constructed instead on Ridgewood and Autumn in 1905.
Church of the Transfiguration, Autumn and Ridgewood Ave.
This image appeared in the Brooklyn Eagle on Feb 16, 1905. On the right, a card written out by the Rector Wendell with some additional historic details. The church is technically a mission, not an independant church, and in 1913 the rector A.H. Backus resigns in his fight with the Bishop Frederick Burgess over the issue. Burgess replaces him with his secretary, Rev. A. J. Lovelee. The congregation protests, but Lovelee serves for almost ten years. Boy Scout Troop 127 is formed under his leadership in 1917.
Church of the Transfiguration, Autumn and Ridgewood Ave.
This April 7, 1921 Eagle article adds to my confusion, describing the church as a 'branch'. Ironically, after all the fighting, the congregation shifted away from Episcopalean teachings and fell out of union with the Diocese in 1937. The church was identified as Anglo-Catholic in 1938. The Rev. L. Rose serves from 1923 to 1937, and is followed by Rev. George Lewis. Rev. Lewis is pictured on the right in a Sep. 17 1951 Eagle article, having just accepted mission work in the West Indies. I do not know who followed Re. Lewis. The building was sold to the Cypress Hills Community Center in 1975. Richard Woitowitz recalls it was a Russian Orthodox Church for a brief spell, and also served as a community center.
John Riccardi sent over this shot taken in the late 50s by Ridgewood and Autumn, featuring some of the gang that used to hang out at Long's Ice Cream Parlor (formerly Adolf and Artie's according to John) down by Crescent and Fulton. "Left to right; Standing - Phil Gallagher, Paul Porazzo, John Leamy Sitting - Joe Curreri, Tommy Glynn, John Riccardi"
The group succeeded in pulling off a reunion in 2010. Pictured are: Paul Porrazo, his wife Joan /Sugar, Phil Gallagher, John Riccardi, Paul Siegler, Bob Conlin, Tommy Glynn, Eileen Dougherty Long. with her husband Mike Long.
This shot in front of 56 Lincoln comes from Alice Hetherton Price. She notes; " The picture is of me and Peggy Whiteway in front of my home at 56 Lincoln Av in March 1960. 56 Lincoln was a 6 family apartment house. They were called railroad flats. 56 was one of 8 of these apartment houses on Lincoln. This is the west side of Lincoln looking north."
Richard Woitowitz sends over a shot of the 'band', on the corner of Etna and Lincoln in the 1970s. Named "The Path" are; Tony (Frank Benvenuto, Bass), Richard Woitowitz (Guitar, Vocals), Seated in the VW was Thomas Bettinger (Guitar), Peter Dunn (Guitar, Vocals) and "Bird" (Mike Vivona, Drums). Thanks to Mike Pettersson on some of those IDs. On the right, a view north up Lincoln across Etna circa 1979.
Richard Woitowitz also sent these shots looking south and north from 139 Lincoln Avenue in 1971. He identifies Antonio Rodriguez by the car.
Finally, Richard sends over a shot of his mother and a neighbor during a 1972 Lincoln Avenue block party.
Block parties were a big part of the neighborhood. Glen Gochal sent in these shots of a Lincoln Avenue block party in 1971, between Ridgewood and Fulton.
The second set from Glen includes a nice wide shot on the left, lots of little kids in the picture. Anyone recognize themselves?.
Vinnie Sanzillo sent in these shots taken around 1972. The first is in the I.S. 171 schoolyard facing Lincoln Avenue, and the second is of Max's Furniture store on Fulton Street between Nichols and Elderts Lane.
Atlantic and Autumn, 1913
A reminder that we feature Atlantic Avenue on their own pages in Zone 5 and Zone 6. Two more from the Brian Merlis Collection, you will notice Autumn Ave. was known as Railroad Avenue at the time. Note the pedestrian crossing was underground. On the view north, you can see a sign advertising "5 1/2 Miles to Abraham and Strauss". I also believe that is 171 in the distance on the right.
Mike McGrath helps fill in a blank for us- we were missing shots of Grant Avenue. Mike explains, " In this shot from 1967, my home (212) is to the left. Yes, our building adjoined a lot that had been left undeveloped. If there were similar situations to this elsewhere in Cypress Hills, I don't remember them. Every once in a great while, the property's owner, Mr. Martin, would appear, unlock both fences, and drive through the lot to a solidly-built garage, inside which he would busy himself with... who knows? On this day, we kids had put together a carnival to raise money for MDA. Over the rooftops, and across Nichols Avenue, can be seen IS 171." Mike also supplied a 2009 shot, I believe these houses were built within the last year or so.
Mike McGrath sends some shots of Grant Avenue, taken in 1972. He IDs Steve Kaponyas in the shot on the left, and on the right, Louis Surico holding the football and Mike Mallon behind him, noting the alleyway and his house are in the background.
Mike also sent this 1972 view looking north to Ridgewood Avenue. It appears the garbage truck is creating a roadblock. Mike noted the building at the end of the block on the left housed an American Legion Post. Site fan Jon Schmidt first brought that post to my attention- it was the Elmer J. Bennett Post, and his grandfather was a member. Jon recalls it had a last man standing club from WWI and also a Fife and Drum Corp that played at Ebbetts Field. We're still looking for more info on that Post if anyone has it.
Mike's picture prompted me to post a Grant Ave. mini-mystery. In the 1908 map on the left (turned sideways, north is to the right), we see a Richards Lane once existed behind the houses on the west side of Grant between O'Brien Place and Etna. (Liberty Street on that map is now Karweg- Jon Schmidt recalls that one block stretch was their wiffleball/stickball/touch football field). The 2009 aerial view, oriented with Grant Avenue on the right, shows the existence of that lane which now appears to be a driveway to multiple garages. I wonder what the story was behind that lane.
Grant Avenue, Cypress Hills
This was tricky to spot. The view is south towards Atlantic Avenue from the top of the block near Fulton Street.