" The Eastern District "
Then & Now
Here are some
photos I found in The Brooklyn Historical Society with the able
assistance of Sean Ashby at the Society's Library. The Knapps
that I am writing about, wound up living everywhere, but Brooklyn
is where they started and many still remain.
J. F. Knapp
Mansion at 554 Bedford Ave & corner of Ross St.
known as No. 84 Bedford.
of a poor photo was not scanned properly, but I cannot get to
the original as the actual Brooklyn Historical Society is closed
for renovations till late 2002. I was very fortunate to be able
to access their digitized photo collection. The photo was taken
around 1900 and is in a scrapbook in the BHS Library's files.
That is an awning slanting downward on the Bedford Ave side. J.
F., Phoebe, Antoinette and J. P. resided here from the 1860's
till 1892. Around that time the widow Phoebe moved to Savoy Hotel.Antoinette
lived next door in her 1885 Wedding Present Home, while J. P.
resided in Manhattan. After Phoebe moved away it became a dance
school. I know it was still standing in the late 1940's.
Below is what
is there today
the street on the North West Corner of Bedford & Ross is this
home from the same era
date on the photo Feb. 1959. The date of the Knapp Mansions demise
in Mastic Beach. I wonder if their home here was still standing
when this photo was taken?
The same house
today (A on map) The short part is facing Bedford Ave. minus it's
next door neighbors.and directly across Ross is this same era
home (B on map)
you stepped out of The Knapp's front door when they lived there
and looked up Bedford Ave. to the west, this is what you would
One of those
stoops in the left foreground would lead you to Antoinette Knapp
& Edward Copeland Wallace's door at #80 Bedford as it was
known in 1885. The house was a wedding gift from J.F. & Phoebe.
Antoinette & Edward were married in St. Johns M. E. Church
that is looming above the corner of Wilson & Bedford. The
Wallace's Home is also gone.
Home B=NE Corner Home
photo taken in 1922, is looking eastward on Bedford.
were very active in St. John's. Phoebe was the organist and J.
F. was the superintendent of the Sunday School. Young J. P. contributed
$3.00 a week of his $5.00 salary to St. John's in 1881.
And what a
Sunday School it was!
was taken in 1930. Looking south down Wilson St. Like the Knapp
Mansion, and Antoinette's home, St. John's is no longer a fixture
on Bedford Ave.
A dance school,
a private club and a catering hall were some of the uses for the
Knapp's place in it's final years. The Wedding of Florence Abel
took place there in 1948. These photos were taken by Harry Kalmus.
chandelier. It's reminiscent of those on the Titanic.
When the Knapp's
lived there it was lit by candlelight.
"Floorie" on Feb.8, 1948. Is this where "Netty"
entered the room 63 years earlier Feb.18,1885?
Was this the
music room that J. F. surprised Phoebe with when she returned
from Europe? Several US Presidents and many other dignitaries
were guests here
I think both
Phoebe & J. F. would heartily approve of wedding parties continuing
in their home
Here is the newspaper account
of the one they threw here for "Netty"