November 2, 2012, Friday, 306

3rd Street in Images

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I found as I did my research on Third Street that not only were there so many possible angles from which I could take photographs of my block in the present day, but there was also a huge wealth of historical photographs to be found in various archives and other sources. To learn the story behind these pictures, please look for the corresponding topics on my main page, linked below. Through these pictures, you can relate the story of the Vechtes to representations of the house and farm they inhabited, and you can hear the story of Peter Cortelyou's suicide knowing what the trees on the ground looked like where he hung himself. You can compare the original House to the reconstruction, observe the buildings that surround the landmark on all sides, and catch a glimpse into the past and future of Washington Park. Neither words nor pictures alone can entirely recreate the history of the Third Street, but when we put them together, we can begin to imagine the world on the block from colonial times to the present.

To go back to my main page (and to view bibliographic references for the following sources), click here: Park Slope: 3rd Street


The Old Stone House

From photographs to sketches, these visual representations of the Old Stone House cover more than three-hundred years of history. The first pictures show how the house looked initially, while the plaque, drawing, and museum replica show one of the most significant events in the history of the House through different perspectives: the Battle of Brooklyn. The rest of the photographs and drawings take us from the revolutionary year of 1776 through to the present. Photographs from the archives of the Brooklyn Public Library and the Brooklyn Historical Society show the house until the point at which it was destroyed. The last photographs show the reconstruction in 1946 and 1952, followed by photographs I took of the House from various sides in 2007 and 2009.

Residential Buildings

The first photograph in this collection embodies a theme that I found prevalent in my examination of this block: the old sitting beside the new. The brownstones and condominiums sitting side by side represent the way in which this block has been able to both hold onto history and tradition and yet change over time. The one internal photograph from the realtor gives an example of what some of the condominiums look like inside, while my photographs show the exterior of both kinds of residential buildings.

Commercial Buildings

These photographs show the three commercial buildings across the street from the Old Stone House (Elements, Villa Rustica, and the Stone Park Cafe), as well as the predecessor to Villa Rustica, Pizza by the Park.

The Park

The three early photographs of Washington (or Byrne Park) show the number of ways in which the space has been used: as a baseball park, a skating rink, and a park for the public. Contemporary photographs taken by me show the park and playground in their current state, while the last group of pictures give an idea of what Washington Park is supposed to look like in the future, with various additions and changes.


The following photographs allow a chance to see an assortment of connected images, not of specific buildings on the block, but of artifacts, maps, or sites related to the history that has unfolded on Third Street. The map of Brooklyn shows where the House and farm were in relation to the rest of the county, while the map of the Battle of Brooklyn shows the action of the Battle in a clear was so as to supplement the account given on my main page. The ticket for the Washington Park baseball game acts as a small artifact to remind us of a brief period of the Park's history. The photograph of Edwin Litchfield's grave and the watercolor and photograph of his mansion display his wealth and give a window into the characters of someone heavily involved in the history of this block.