Jackie Robinson’s East Flatbush home sold for nearly $1 million
Eye On Real Estate
Jackie Robinson’s East Flatbush house is now a Million-Dollar Baby. Almost.
The house where Robinson, who famously broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball, lived in the late 1940s sold for nearly $1 million this past January.
The exact price of the semi-attached house at 5224 Tilden Ave. was $900,000, and the purchaser was Kimberly Mosley, city Finance Department records indicate.
The seller was Hodaya Group LLC with Tommer Oscer as member, Finance Department records show.
It was the second time in less than a year that the former home of the Brooklyn Dodgers superstar changed hands.
According to Finance Department records, Hodaya Group LLC had paid $421,000 for the house in May 2016. On that occasion, the seller was the estate of Eleanor Palin.
The other day, we made a pilgrimage to the handsome two-story house, where the late, great Robinson and his wife Rachel had lived on the top floor.
We went because we were seized with serious nostalgia for the days when Brooklyn had a Major League Baseball team to call its own.
Landmark this house, please
Robinson is one of the best things that ever happened to baseball. And there aren’t a lot of places in Brooklyn, other than the house in East Flatbush, where you can go to honor his memory.
The Tilden Avenue property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Legions of preservation-minded Brooklynites and lifelong Dodgers fans feel it should be designated as a city landmark, too.
The city Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) decided in 2013 not to consider the red-brick East Flatbush house for designation. Robinson had reportedly lived there for only one year, from 1948 to 1949.
The preservation agency’s reasoning was that this wasn’t a long enough time period to make the house eligible for landmarking.
In 2014, City Councilmember Jumaane Williams (D-East Flatbush, Flatbush, Flatlands and Midwood) said National Historic Landmarks Program records indicate that Robinson had moved into 5224 Tilden Ave. in 1947 — meaning his residency in the East Flatbush house was longer than the LPC had believed.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is one of many other Brooklyn politicians who also believe that Number 42’s Tilden Avenue home should be granted individual city landmark status.
Ebbets Field is gone, and so is Branch Rickey’s office
The LPC designated Addisleigh Park, Queens, where Robinson later lived, as a historic district.
Thanks to its location in that historic district, the baseball great’s house there is now a protected landmark. It cannot be demolished, nor can its exterior be altered, without the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s permission.
We have visited Robinson’s Addisleigh Park home. We love Robinson’s Addisleigh Park home. The whole neighborhood is beautiful, a piece of living history.
But landmarking shouldn’t be an either/or proposition. Surely there’s room for two landmarked Jackie Robinson homes in this city of 3 million households.
Landmarking the Tilden Avenue house where he lived would be an especially fitting tribute when you consider that other Brooklyn buildings which were important to his historic baseball career are gone, gone, gone.
This is obvious, but we’re going to say it anyway: Ebbets Field, where he played, was torn down after the Dodgers left us in the late 1950s and headed to California.
The ballpark was at 55 Sullivan Place in Crown Heights South. Ebbets Field Apartments now stand on that site.
And in Brooklyn Heights, the building at 215 Montague St. where Branch Rickey’s office was located also fell victim to the wrecking ball a long time ago. That’s where the Dodgers’ president and general manager and Robinson signed the contract that made Robinson the first African-American player in Major League Baseball.
The commercial building that now stands on that site has a different address — 205 Montague St.