Occasionally Dyker Heights will surprise you with an aged building like this one, between 63rd and 64th on 12th Avenue, the Angel Guardian Home (later Mercy First) which sheltered unwed mothers and their children beginning in 1899. In that year this part of town was far removed from anything else, but there was still a certain pride and dignity placed into the construction of housing for people who, in that era, were mostly shunned by society. The building ser ed as a senior center in its later years.
Given its location — you expect to find such architecture in a Park Slope or a Bedford-Stuyvesant — I enjoy this building so much that I can’t resist taking multiple photos of it whenever I’m around.
The Sisters of Mercy put the building up for sale in late 2017; it was sold to developer Scott Barone for $37.5M and it was feared that the distinguished building would be razed for condos. Indeed Barone divided the property into three lots and sold two of them, and ancillary buildings on the campus — thankfully not the main orphanage — were torn down. Plans call for a school to go up in their place.
Fortunately the main building has now been protected by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, and will not be razed.