183-195 Broadway, Brooklyn
Address: 183-195 Broadway
Architect: William B. Ditmars, Atlantic Iron Works Foundry
LPC Action: Public Hearings in 1980, 1981, 1984, 1990
LPC Backlog Hearing: Prioritized for designation
Designated - December 13,2016
183-195 Broadway is considered one of the finest surviving cast-iron buildings in Brooklyn. Its iron was cast by the Atlantic Iron Works of Manhattan, which cast pieces for many buildings in Tribeca and Soho. The cast-iron façade remains intact, and features inventive ornamentation in the form of calla lilies, stylized drapery, and wreaths on the building’s pilasters. A similar spiral floral concept can be seen on other buildings, but the use of the calla lily is considered unique. The building was likely built as a shoe dealer’s factory and warehouse. In 1937, the building became home to the Forman Family, manufacturers of chromium tableware and metal gift items. Their signage remains between the second and third floors, though the building now houses loft-style apartments. While cast-iron buildings could once be found throughout Brooklyn, the four surviving cast-iron buildings clustered along this section of Broadway are among the borough’s only survivors, and the only substantial group outside of Manhattan.