Sunset Park

The picturesque part of Fourth Avenue — yes, there is one

Eye On Real Estate

January 13, 2016 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Welcome to the picturesque part of Fourth Avenue, which is in Sunset Park. This is 4823 Fourth Ave. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan

An assault on the eyes.

It is a truth universally acknowledged — to borrow Jane Austen’s famed phrase —  that the bulky new apartment buildings on Fourth Avenue are less than lovely to look at.

They dot the Park Slope stretch of the avenue from 19th Street — where the most interesting sight is a sculpture made of auto parts outside Meineke Car Care Center — to Warren Street.

The wide, wide avenue has a picturesque portion, however — in Sunset Park. There, the zoning is different, and more conducive to preservation and smaller-scale development.

Fourth Avenue’s most eye-pleasing properties are at the north end of Sunset Park, such as the landmarked 68th Police Precinct Station House and Stable, which is stunning even in its scaffolded, decrepit current condition.

But the best way to eyeball Sunset Park’s Fourth Avenue is by starting at the south end of the thoroughfare so the winter sun is at your back.

* The first eye candy is a mural by the Royal KingBee on the Rite Aid at 6201 Fourth Ave. It depicts the Brooklyn Bridge — and artist Tom Fruin’s plexiglass sculpture of a water tower, which is in DUMBO.

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* Handsome rows of historic homes can be seen on side streets from various Fourth Avenue intersections.

* “La cruz es el camino al cielo,” Sunset Park resident Roberto Aguilar told us when he saw us photographing the slender spire of St. Jacobi Evangelical Lutheran Church at 5406 Fourth Ave. (In English that means, “The Cross is the path to Heaven.” There’s a Cross at the tip of the church spire.)

This church’s name is carved in stone on the outside of the building — in German. A woman we met inside told us that St. Jacobi held German-language worship services until the 1970s.

* The Battalion 40, Engine 201 and Ladder 114 firehouse at 5113-5117 Fourth Ave. is an eye-catching red building. The $13 million FDNY facility, which opened in January 2009, was constructed on the site of Engine 201’s former home base.

* The Parkway Garage at 5018-5024 Fourth Ave. is a nifty-looking pink-hued warehouse and office building. It has just been sold.

* The old-fashioned apartment building at 4823 Fourth Ave. has a photogenic green pointy-roofed turret.

* The distinctive red-brick building at 4616 Fourth Ave. that houses Tian Fu United Methodist Church was constructed more than a century ago.

* Speaking of stunning churches, Romanesque-style St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church at 352 42nd St. (which is on the corner of Fourth Avenue) has a Byzantine-style dome that calls to mind Sacré Coeur in Paris. The interior’s quite something, too.

St. Michael’s was designed by Raymond Almirall — the architect of four Brooklyn Carnegie libraries, including the landmarked Park Slope Branch — and built in 1905.

* The rows of stately columns on the Sunset Park Court House are a fine sight. The Classical Revival-style landmark at 4201 Fourth Ave. was designed by architect Mortimer Metcalfe and built in 1931.

The courts moved out of the building in 1962. Organizations such as Community Board 7 now occupy it.

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