by Kevin Walsh

Flatbush Avenue cuts across the Park Slope grid on a diagonal, making it a convenient place to put a subway line and indeed, two separate subway lines employ it, the IRT (2,3,4,5) and the BMT (B, Q) each built in two separate tunnels in the 1910s. It also creates several triangle-shaped plots, one of which can be found at Flatbush, 5th Avenue and Dean Street. For nearly a century, from 1912-2012, the wedge-shaped building in the plot has housed a sporting goods store. By the 1960s, when I began riding by in a bus, the store was called Triangle Sports, quite reasonably enough.

Though the plot sold for over $4M in 2012, the building itself has stood empty since Triangle Sports moved out. This is, of course, the west end of the vast Pacific Park complex (formerly Atlantic Yards), which was spearheaded by the opening of Barclays Center in 2012.

This 1940 photo of the plot, 182 Flatbush Avenue, shows a sporting goods store in place, with ads for Lee clothing, Boy Scout equipment, and firearms. A photographer occupied the second floor. If you look on the right, you can see an elevated train. Until 1940, the 5th Avenue El turned here from Flatbush Avenue; the line originated on the Manhattan end of the Brooklyn Bridge, near City Hall, and its southern terminal was at 3rd Avenue and 65th Street.

When I was a kid, I was in the Cub Scouts. We got my uniform, belts, handbooks etc. from Triangle Sports — but not this one. There was a convenient branch at 5th Avenue and 83rd Street, a block from my house. That particular outlet closed in the 1970s or 1980s.

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



Peter September 12, 2019 - 11:01 pm

IDK what’s going on with sporting goods stores. They used to be much more common than they are today. Sports Authority went belly up a few years ago and Modell’s is just a regional chain. Dick’s is now the only nationwide sporting goods chain,* and more and more of its floor space is devoted to women’s workout attire than to, you know, actual sporting goods. And it’s not competition from Walmart and Target, as their sporting goods sections are generally quite small.
* = REI and Cabela’s may be classified as sporting goods stores but they’re much more specialized.

Kay Landis September 14, 2019 - 8:02 am

Never mind the 5th Avenue El: Make way for the Gentrif**k Express, as it barrels relentlessly southbound to regions still untouched by artisinal everything.

Only a matter of time before Gerritsen Beach (yes, even there) becomes Williamsburg-Upon-Saltmarsh.

John Pradlik February 26, 2020 - 12:34 am

Why does the building look shorter now?

Mitch Levinson May 30, 2020 - 5:48 pm

My dad ran the Triangle Sports Store on
Grand Street off Graham Ave until 1986.


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