00093_mn_14allbrex20078-t96ddr-999x1024PHOTO: JOHN TAMBASCO

This photo of downtown Brooklyn was taken c. 1955 looking northeast from Pearl Street to the stub of the old Myrtle Avenue elevated at Jay Street—future site of NYU-Poly (now NYU Tandon School of Engineering).  The land in foreground has just been cleared as part of the vast Brooklyn Civic Center urban renewal project.  The shadow on ground to the right is being cast by one of the few survivors—375 Pearl Street, an art-deco gem that was built for Brooklyn Law School and is today the Brooklyn Friends School (photographer was standing about here).

The large building on the right is now NYU’s Rogers Hall.  It was built by the American Safety Razor Company, a cornerstone of industrial Brooklyn and one of the city’s largest employers.  The company relocated to Virginia in 1954 after repeated labor strikes and threats of condemnation for the Civic Center.  It was one of scores of manufacturers to leave town during the Wagner years (1954-1965), a period in which New York City lost a staggering 200,000 jobs.

One MetroTech Center now occupies the block on Jay Street to the right of this view.  The arrow in the ad on the side of the building (meant for riders on the vanished el) points down to about where the entrance to the Jay Street-Metrotech subway station (A, C, F trains) is today.  The parked cars at left are on Myrtle Avenue, where a pedestrian walkway now runs between Adams and Jay Streets by the Marriott hotel.  The two industrial buildings in the photo are extant, as may be seen in Google Streetview here.  This slide photo was taken by John Tambasco using a Rolleiflex Automat K4A (Collection of Thomas J. Campanella).

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