Thursday, December 31, 2009

The view on the last morning of 2009.


Here's the view from my window this morning, looking across Pierrepont Place toward Pierrepont Playground and Columbia Heights beyond.

The playground occupies the site on which formerly stood the Henry Pierrepont mansion, the rear of which is seen in the center of the turn-of-the 19th to 20th century photo at left. (The photo comes from this Brooklyn Heights Blog post.) The Pierrepont mansion was designed by Frederick A. Peterson, a German-born architect perhaps best known for the Cooper Union building in Manhattan. The mansion was demolished in 1946.

The building the edge of which is seen at the left of my photo at top, the rear of which can be seen toward the right in the old photo, is the Abiel Abbott Low mansion, designed by Richard Upjohn and completed in 1857. To its south (part of the rear visible at the right of the old photo) is its near mirror-image twin, also by Upjohn, the Alexander M. White mansion. Low and White were prominent merchants, Low in the China trade and White in furs. Low was the father of Seth Low who, at various times, served as Mayor of the City of Brooklyn, President of Columbia University, and Mayor of New York City.