A Sorry End…

In 1940 and again four decades later, New York City’s real estate tax assessment authorities photographed every single one of the more than 800,000 tax lots in the five boroughs. 86 Lefferts Place, Brooklyn, had been the last residence of Henry Knight Dyer and his wife Caroline Lavinia Price Dyer before their deaths in 1911 and 1912, respectively. The magnificent mansion, built in the mid-19th century, with a cupola, porte cochere, separate stables and other outbuildings, was renovated as soon as the Dyers acquired the property in 1894, and the couple split their time between the Brooklyn manse and their Penzance Point mansion in Cape Cod. Converted to the Fairchild funeral home by 1917, 86 Lefferts slid with the neighborhood as white flight took hold after World War II, and drugs and crime overwhelmed Bedford Stuyvesant in the 1960s.

Here it is, 86 Lefferts, abused and neglected, a sorry shell before its demolition soon thereafter. 1980 was not a good year…

86 Lefferts Place tax lot photo 1980 ish  from Tom gordon

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