FRED TRUMP’S BROOKLYN

Fred C. Trump, Donald Trump’s father, was the biggest residential developer in Brooklyn in the 1930s and 1940s, and one of the most prolific in the United States.  He erected thousands of modest row houses and apartment buildings in East Flatbush, Marine Park, Brighton Beach, Coney Island, Gravesend and Bath Beach.  His homes were well-built and affordable, largely due to economies of scale.  Known as the Henry Ford of housing, Trump applied techniques of mass production to residential construction long before William Levitt and Levittown.  His largest projects were always located near rapid transit (a 1941 bus strike convinced him never to rely on surface transit).  Trump’s early homes were exquisitely-scaled “brick bungalows” designed in the popular Tudor style, while those built after World War II were exclusively Modernist.  His most trusted architects were outsiders to the mainstream profession–“Miami Modernist” Morris Lapidus and Irving Seelig and his partner Harry Finkelstein.

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