Gary Fonville sent me a magnificent building clad in shiny terra cotta on Nostrand Avenue and Sterling Place, claiming it to be yet another lost Child’s restaurant as featured in this recent FNY special.
I don’t think it is an ex-Child’s, though, since all Child’s restaurants featured a nautical theme in their terra cotta palaces from 1928-1935, includng seahorses, what I call “fish windows,” sea shells and Neptunes with seaweed for hair.
This place does have the decorative urns that were featured on Child’s restaurants, but these have human figures — not fish or sea shells. I’m not buying it as a Child’s.
Anyone have some old directories that can say for sure what this place was?
ForgottenFan Steven Otero:
This building is further described in the Crown Heights Historic District II Designation Report: “Commercial buildings [in the district]…include the two-story building at 713 Nostrand Avenue… which was designed by Isaac Kallich and completed c. 1929 [New Building # 2387-29]. Although its ground floor has been altered, this building’s second floor is a lively and fantastical display of Baroque Revival design, executed in polychrome terra cotta. Like the movie palaces of the time, which were often designed in freely adapted versions of exotic historical styles, this building was a place of amusement, constructed as a bowling alley and billiard hall.” (New York City Landmarks Commission, Crown Heights North Historic District II Designation Report, Edited by Mary Beth Betts, June 28, 2011, p. 30)
And well, whaddya know, Brownstoner has a piece. This was built in 1929 as the Sterling Bowling and Billiard Academy.