Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Carroll Park

Carroll Park
Carroll Street between Court and Smith Streets

Brooklyn’s third oldest park is named for Charles Carroll (1737-1832), an American Revolutionary leader and signer of the Declaration of Independence, for whom Carroll Street is also named. The land for the park, laid out as private gardens in the late 1840s, was secured through an act of the New York State legislature in 1850, but was not built until 1867. The 1.874-acres park is one of the significant features of the neighborhood, occupying a city block bordered by Carroll, Court, President and Smith Streets.

On September 10, 1993, after nearly a 20-year effort by local resident and elected official to upgrade the park, a newly refurbished park opened to the delight of neighborhood children. The $1.3 million park renovation was funded by Borough President Howard Golden and included reconfiguring two new play equipment areas – one for toddlers and another for older children, a children’s water spray in the form of a compass where distances are marked off to the North and South Poles and the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The historic character of the park was enhanced with decorative cast iron gates and fencing that echoes the fences of neighborhood brownstones.

Another bocce ball court was built, and the park was completely re-landscaped and new parkscape elements were added including decorative lighting, World Fair benches, signature park hexagon pavers, and game tables. The bronze and granite of the Soldier and Sailors World War I Monument (1920), by sculptor Eugene H. Morahan, was conserved under the same project.

A tall granite shaft, with four bronze plaques done by Eugene H. Morahan, is dated 1920, and stands in Carroll Park, President and Court Streets. It is dedicated to the memory of the men from the district who gave their lives in the War. 187 names are engraved on two side tablets. The front tablet represents a soldier in a cemetery, and the back, a sailor on the deck of a ship. Erected by the Eighth Assembly district memorial Committee, June 1921.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Michael Moran

10 First Place. Founder of the Moran Tugboat Company, which has been in business for more than 150 years. Now based in Connecticut, the company has one of the largest tug boat operations on the East Coast, with 96 tugs and 30 barges. The tugs are distinguished by a large white M on their black smokestacks. Although publicly held. the business is still family operated.


Michael Moran, President of the Moran Towing and Transportation Company, died yesterday at his home, 10 First Place Brooklyn, New York. He came to this country with his parents. At the age of 9, he worked as a driver on the Erie Canal. He later became the owner of a canal boat. In 1860, he started the towboat company. He was known as the “Commodore”. He was a member of the Maritime Exchange and the National Board of Steam Navigation. and the Association for the Protection of Commerce. He leaves 2 sons and a daughter. Funeral – June 30, 1907 at St.Stephens R.C. Church, Hicks and Summit Street.

Brooklyn Daily Standard Union

June 29, 1907

Sunday, February 15, 2009

James S.T. Stranahan

283 Union Street. Member of Congress; Trustee of Brooklyn Parks Commission, 1860; President of the New York and Brooklyn Bridge Company 1885. PS 142 named in his honor; there is a large bronze statute of Mr. Stranahan in Prospect Park. Died Sept 3, 1898.

Peter R. Kissam

76 First Place. Brother-in-law to William Henry Vanderbilt. Banker and Financier. Office at 19 New Street New York City. Building exists today.
The Vanderbilt's and the Story of their Fortune by W.A. Croffut pg 181, 182.

NOTE: William Henry Vanderbilt, once the richest man in the world, was married to Maria Louisa Kissam Vanderbilt. She had three brothers, Benjamin, Samuel, and Peter. All lived in fashionable South Brooklyn, now called Carroll Gardens. Maria also had a sister who lived at 102 First Place. Portrait of Maria hangs in Vanderbilt Hall at Vanderbilt University.

Samuel H. Kissam

249 Carroll Street. Brother-in-law to William Henry Vanderbilt, senior partner of banking house of Kissam and Whitney managed the financial matters for New York Central Railroad. Member of the Board of Governors of the NYSE. Building exists today.
New York Times, April 18, 1915;
The Vanderbilt's and the Story of their Fortune by W.A. Croffut pg 181, 182.

Benjamin P. Kissam

73 First Place. Brother-in-law to William Henry Vanderbilt. New York Central RR , Partner of Kissam and Whitney, 36 Wall Street. Managed financial affairs of The New York Central Railroad. Building exists today.
The Vanderbilt's and the Story of their Fortune by W.A. Croffut pg 181, 182.

Thomas Kensella

430 Clinton Street - Editor of the Brooklyn Eagle, 1864 to 1882. Member of Congress. Married and had five daughters. Buried in Holy Cross Cemetery. House, which exists today, sold at an estate sale. Detailed description of the contents in Brooklyn Daily Eagle 1882 Obituary.

Jacob Bergen

108 First Place - Owner of the original plot of land named Bergen's Hill and is now First Place. Both buildings still exists today.
(Brooklyn Daily Eagle - 1898)

Cornelius Bergen

110 First Place - son of Jacob Bergen, owner of Bergen's farm which occupied most of present day Carroll Gardens.
(Brooklyn Daily Eagle - 1898}