The cast-iron facade of 183-195 Broadway is distinctive among cast-iron buildings in New York City for its inventive Neo-Grec design and unusual calla lily ornament, embodying aspects of the Aesthetic Movement. Built towards the end of the heyday of cast-iron fronts in New York, 183-195 Broadway, which was manufactured by the Atlantic Iron Works, is one of only a small number of cast-iron buildings that were constructed in the Borough of Brooklyn.
Plans for the building were filed by a local Williamsburg architect, William B. Ditmars; however, the building’s cast-iron facade was designed by Herman J. Schwarzmann. The building, which was built in 1882-1883 for James R. Sparrow (1810-1886) and his son, James R. Sparrow Jr. (1841-1909), was part of a wave of post-Civil War redevelopment along Broadway.
*Excerpt from the Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report
STATUS Designated Individual Landmark
“I don’t know what the City would be without HDC. [They] testified before LPC time after time and helped us focus on the right issues. We would not be an historic district without HDC! ”
Doreen Gallo: DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance
“Use HDC as a resource because they know what they are doing and can offer advice on how to go about creating a district from every front: architectural, political, LPC, and the media. I had floundered prior to my involvement with this invaluable organization.”
Fern Luskin: Lamartine Place Historic District; Friends of Lamartine Place & Gibbons Underground Railroad Site
“HDC provided guidance and shared information during that process—we knew which Council members were going one way or another and we changed a few minds. I don’t think NoHo would have had as cohesive a district had it not been for HDC’s aid.”
Zella Jones: NoHo Historic District; NoHo East; and NoHo Extension
“I remember Richard saying at a meeting, we have someone here from HDC, Nadezhda Williams, Director of Preservation and Research, to help us. She said to us, ‘You are not the only ones going through this.’ HDC included us in an enormous community”
Erika Petersen: West End Preservation Society