This stolid, 3-story brick building, which takes up the entire block between 2nd and 3rd Avenue and 58th and 59th Street in Sunset Park, now occupied by a variety of small businesses and industries, was once a depot for a lost aspect of NYC transportation.
It was a carbarn, or depot, for the Brooklyn City Railroad, which was first incorporated as a horsecar line in 1853. Later, trolley lines drawn on street rails by overhead electric wires, replaced the dobbins and the BCRR became the largest company operating streetcars in Brooklyn, with lines fanning out to the far reaches of Brooklyn such as East New York and Bushwick, and further into western Queens in Ridgewood, Maspeth and Corona. Cemeteries were common destinations, with lines going to Cypress Hills, Green-Wood, Calvary and Holy Cross Cemeteries.
After the BCRR was acquired by Long Island Traction in 1883, it reorganized into Brooklyn Rapid Transit in 1895, the precursor to Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit. The BMT, which ran subways, trolleys and elevated lines, was created in 1919 and lasted till most transit lines were unified under the NYC aegis in 1940.
While many older trolley barns were demolished or turned into bus depots, this depot, which handled lines on 2nd and 3rd Avenues, was compartmentalized for local use.