Brooklyn Boro

Gotham Organization’s Brooklyn roots run deep

Eye On Real Estate

September 21, 2016 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Gotham Organization's founder Nathan Picket worked on the construction of the Federal Courthouse & Post Office in Brooklyn. Photo courtesy of Gotham
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The developer of The Ashland, the Brooklyn Cultural District’s glam new apartment tower, has Brooklyn roots that run deep.

“My great-grandfather built the Brooklyn Post Office,” David Picket, president of Gotham Organization, said in a recent interview.

His great-grandfather was Nathan Picket, who founded the family business as a construction company in 1913.

Over the decades, the Pickets’ company has alternated its focus between contracting and development.

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David Picket is the fourth-generation member of his family to play a lead role in Gotham Organization. His father, Joel Picket, is the company’s chairman and chief executive officer.

The present-day address of the landmarked Federal Courthouse & Post Office is 271 Cadman Plaza East. At the time of the building’s initial construction and later expansion, Cadman Plaza East was known as Washington Street.

The city Landmarks Preservation Commission calls the building the Main Brooklyn Post Office.

The older portion of the Romanesque Revival-style granite building, which looks like a chateau, was constructed from 1885 to 1891. It is adorned with a square tower on its southwest corner. Semi-circular turrets with cone-shape tops stand on either side of an arched entrance.

A seven-story addition, which the preservation agency’s 1966 designation report about the property calls “exceptionally well designed,” was constructed from 1929 to 1931.

David Picket shared a copy of an old photo of the post office that was included in a commemorative book — compiled oh so long ago —  showcasing Gotham Construction Company’s early projects, “Thirty Years of Building Construction.”

It’s such a nostalgia-inducing photo — look at the trolley in front of the post office and the trolley tracks embedded in the street.  

As for The Ashland, it’s a brand-new Fort Greene rental-apartment tower at 250 Ashland Place. Move-ins began in mid-August. See related story.


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