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and in the laws governing their construction. (Coincidentally, Berger’s brother Carl served as the head of the Tenement House Department from 1902-1906, and later head of the Queens Department of Buildings. See footnote 40.) In 1910, he moved his office to Ridgewood, Queens, when he joined the development team of August Bauer and Paul Stier as resident architect. Berger, the most prolific architect to work in Ridgewood, benefited greatly from his association with Bauer & Stier, Inc., which alone built over 2,000 houses in Ridgewood. He also served as the president of the Brooklyn Society of Architects.

The next phase of development was on the northwest side of Palmetto Street, between Fairview and Grandview avenues. Permits for these buildings, filed in May 1910, list G.X. Mathews as the owner, architect, and builder.55 According to permits filed later that year, the buildings located on the southeast side of Palmetto Street, the southwest side of Forest Avenue and the northwest side of Woodbine Street (Figure 14) were designed by architect Louis Allmendinger.56 Allmendinger (1878-1937) was born in Brooklyn to a German-immigrant, beer- brewer in 1878. A graduate of the Cooper Union, Allmendinger was working as architect as early as 1901. With offices in Bushwick, he worked both for himself and for various architects until 1922 when he established his own firm, specializing in industrial and commercial buildings. His work also included other types of buildings, including the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Transfiguration of Our Lord in Brooklyn (1916-21, a designated New York City Landmark) and its Parish House (1916). In 1926, Allmendinger formed a partnership with M. Allen Schlendorf (b.1902) which lasted until the older man’s death. Continuing to practice in Brooklyn, the new firm was responsible for numerous institutional, industrial, and commercial designs, including the Former J. Kurtz & Sons Store Building in Queens (1931, a designated New York City Landmark), the German Masonic Temple in Manhattan, the Liebmann Brewery and North American Brewery in Brooklyn, as well as the Ehler Coffee Plant, also in Brooklyn. After Allmendinger’s death in 1937, Schlendorf, who had studied at both the Cooper Union and Columbia University, continued the practice under his own name.

The last buildings in the district were those in the tenement/commercial building block constructed at 66-02 to 66-08 Forest Avenue in 1914. (Figure 15) G.X. Mathews is listed as the owner, architect, and builder on the permits for these buildings. Although the interior plans did not change significantly with each different filing architect, with exception of those constructed on different sized- and shaped- lots, the exterior detailing changed over time.

The four buildings at 652-658 Grandview Avenue (Figure 16) were the only ones in the Ridgewood North Historic District not developed by the G.X. Mathews Company. Part of the turn of the century “Germania Heights” subdivision, these lots were developed in 1910 by Jacob Jaeger, a builder who also constructed several buildings in the nearby designated Stuyvesant Heights Historic District. Designed by Louis Berger and Company, three of these buildings are four- or five-bay Mathews-type flats, although they are only two stories tall. (Figures 17 and 18) The fourth building, constructed on a more narrow lot, resembles the earlier “rowhouse-style” multiple-dwelling type, housing two families, one on each floor.

55 New York City (Queens) Department of Buildings, NB 1409-10, NB 1410-10, NB 1422-10 and NB 1423-10 list G. X. Mathews as the owner and architect. These new building applications were filed in May of 1910, shortly after Carl Berger stepped down as Superintendent of the Queens Department of Buildings. See footnote 40.

56 A portion of this section is adapted from: Landmarks Preservation Commission, Former J. Kurtz & Sons Store Building Designation Report (LP-1132), report prepared by Virginia Kurshan (New York: City of New York, 1981). Sources for this section include: United States Federal Census: 1880, 1900, 1920; “The Real Estate Field,” New York Times (October 30, 1903); “Louis Allmendinger,” Brooklyn Eagle (October 8, 1937); “Wills for Probate,” New York Times (November 10, 1937), 50; “World War I Draft Registration Card” (September 12, 1908) available on-line at: www.ancestry.com.


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