PASSING by Court and Remsen Street always stirs up some feelings of reminiscence for me because between 1975 and 1980, I passed the corner thousands of times as a student at Saint Francis College, located until mid-2022 at #180 Remsen, midblock between Court and Clinton. (SFC announced in 2020 it will be occupying three floors of the Wheeler Building at Fulton and Bridge Streets).
Many, many years have flown under the bridge since then but I am still in contact with surprisingly many of the people I studied with and who, like me, worked on the college newspaper, The Voice. I can admit after all these years I was over my head with the college work and placed in the lower levels of my graduating class, but at least I staggered through and earned a degree. I was pretty indifferent to the coursework and didn’t know what I wanted to do as far as a career was concerned. However, I picked up enough writing and typography skills with The Voice to see me through a 40 years and counting career in type, printing and copywriting, but it did mean long overnight hours for several years in the 1980s.
Today I’m concerned with these bishop crook posts arrayed along Court and Joralemon Streets. They’re the oldest such crooks in Brooklyn and were installed in the early 1980s, at the dawn of the retro-Crook and Corvington era, where replicas of the classic 1910s posts began appearing in NYC. Actually, as a kid, I don’t recall Bay Ridge, where I grew up, as being particularly Crook-heavy, as there were more straight masted Corvingtons than anything else.
These retro posts are a couple of feet shorter than classic Crooks; I think the DOT was still experimenting with different types in the 80s.
In the background is #32 Court at the corner of Remsen. It’s one of a flock of office buildings on the west side of Court that have earned their own landmarked district. For me, #32 is the House of Pain, as my oral surgeon moved here from Fort Hamilton Parkway in the 2000s. Thankfully I haven’t needed him lately.
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