by Kevin Walsh

Astoria’s architecture is anything but boring. You never know what you will run into on its side streets, from townhouses, ons-story single family homes, huge apartment buildings, Art Deco churches. I was pleasantly surprised to see this 3-story apartment building that is home to three or perhaps six families if the apartments are small enough (I didn’y duck in to check the mailbox). This is the type of building I lived in in Bay Ridge from 1982-1990 and it was among my favorite dwellings.


Apartment houses in the early 20th Century bore names, some with the name of the street, some with the name of the builder or builder’s wife (rarely husband), sons or daughters. In England, even some private homes have names: John Lennon lived in Mendips in Liverpool, and George Harrison bought a house outside London called Kinfauns. 

I imagine the builder had a daughter or wife named Clelia (which comes from a Latin word meaning “famous” or Illustrious”) and inscribed her name in detailed serifs above the door, which includes two Corinthian columns and two pilasters.

They don’t build ’em like this anymore, and they don’t even try!

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”



Peter June 15, 2018 - 10:39 am

Clelia was in exclusive company. According to Baby Name Wizard it’s never been among the top 1,000 girls’ names in the United States as far back as records go.

Andrew Porter June 15, 2018 - 11:16 am

They’ve obviously—and as usual, clumsily—removed the cornice.


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