Which way to the Statue House?

Eye On Real Estate: That and other Bensonhurst buildings we love

September 7, 2016 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Caped Crusader stands among a crew of fiberglass figures at the Statue House in Bensonhurst. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan
Share this:

Batman lives in Bensonhurst.

We saw him the other day, standing in the driveway at 2056 85th St., his cape billowing in the breeze.

Marilyn Monroe and Humphrey Bogart were there too.

Subscribe to our newsletters

And Superman’s busting out of the front of the Statue House, as it’s known in the neighborhood.

Homeowner Steve Campanella has assembled a collection of fiberglass figures from films and TV shows that will make you smile.

This is one of many Bensonhurst buildings we love.

It’s such an interesting neighborhood — an Italian-American stronghold, where 18th Avenue is called Cristoforo Colombo Boulevard and Italian flags fly beside the Stars and Stripes outside many homes. It has become a melting pot where people of Greek, Korean, Israeli, Polish, Arab and Russian extraction also live.

* Nobody else in the neighborhood can match Campanella’s sense of whimsy — but there’s a lamppost outside a house on 83rd Street with mermaids holding the light fixtures.  

* We’re intrigued by landmarked New Utrecht Reformed Church, which was constructed in 1828. See related story.

* Another neighborhood favorite of ours is the dignified former Dime Savings Bank at 1901 86th St., built in 1929 to resemble a Classical temple, complete with columns. There’s a decorative depiction of a giant Mercury dime on its façade.

Walk inside and peek at its dramatic coffered ceilings.

It’s a Chase branch now, because Washington Mutual acquired Dime in 2002, then JPMorgan Chase purchased WaMu after its 2008 collapse.

* There’s a pair of charming mansions on the corner of 21st Avenue and 81st Street that are white stucco with red-brick trim. We’ve all seen Beaux-Arts buildings that are red-brick with white stone trim. With these beautiful houses, the color scheme is reversed.

Each house has a fence and a big yard.

The addresses are 8015 21st Ave. and 8021 21st Ave.

* We love the genteel 19-room Victorian house at 1940 80th St., which also has a big yard.

See it soon, because in August, the city Buildings Department approved an application for its demolition.

According to city Finance Department records, in May an LLC headed by Vito Mancini bought the beautiful house for $1.845 million. He’s a landlord and developer in Bensonhurst and nearby neighborhoods such as Dyker Heights, Bay Ridge and Mapleton.

* We love the barrel-front rowhouses on 83rd Street between 16th and 17th avenues. There’s also a great barrel-front row on 16th Avenue at the corner of 70th Street.

* We also love the classic rowhouses with squared-off façades on 17th Avenue between 81st and 82nd streets.

* We’ve got a weakness for old-fashioned houses with conical turrets. These crop up randomly in Bensonhurst, for instance at 2121 85th St.  

* Semi-detached houses all over the neighborhood look like fraternal twins. The side-by-side homes are painted different colors, or have different porches. One eye-catching twinset can be found at 1837 and 1839 85th St.

* Many residents have vegetable gardens or arbors with lush vines in front of their rowhouses. And though it’s September, there are lots of great-looking flowers — for instance at 2137 84th St.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment