Now home to an ice cream franchise, this building, opened in 1926, was formerly used to berth fireboats and dry firehoses, hence the tower. On this spot, at the north end of Old Fulton Street where Brooklyn Heights meets DUMO in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge, had been the elaborate Victorian Fulton Ferry Terminal; the ferry, connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan’s Fulton streets, began operating in 1814 by Robert Fulton’s ferry company and was discontinued in 1924. The building contained the offices for the harbor firefighting patrol until the late 1970s. (Contrary to popular belief, Fulton didn’t invent the steamboat, but his ship the Clermont established that it could be commercially viable.)
The opening of the New York and Brooklyn Bridge in 1883 assured the decline of this and other ferries on the East River. Fulton Ferry service ended in 1924.
In addition, the Kings County Elevated Railway opened the line, from dual western terminals at Fulton Ferry and Brooklyn Bridge (Sands Street) east to Nostrand Avenue, on April 24, 1888. It was extended east to Albany Avenue on May 30, 1888. The line was further extended to Ralph Avenue on September 20, 1888 and completed to BMT Fulton Street Line at the west end of East New York in early November.
Service from Fulton Ferry ended May 31, 1940, and the Fulton Street el was gradually cut back until all of it was eliminated. Today’s A and C trains duplicate its route.