Friday, February 7, 2014

Along Third

One of a pair of small, well-kept looking apartment buildings right by Third Avenue at 31st Street.  I would have walked right by, but the name above the door caught my eye.  The entrance is a proud one.  Silvio Rosanelli appears to have been active as a builder and restaurant owner in the early 1900s. At one point there was a Silvio Rosanelli Cafe & Restaurant right around the corner on Third, at the rear of 122 31st.  But with Third widened to make way for the Gowanus Parkway, I'm confused how this was configured.  There is a building behind 122, but surely this was not the end of the 31st Street block then.  I need better maps.

A couple of online sites offer Rosanelli cafe trinkets: a brass token (Good for 5c Drink) & a  jug, both bearing the business name.  In 1919 Rosanelli  had plans drawn up for a garage, still standing, higher up 31st.


Unknown said...

Thanks for this post. I just walked past today and noticed the buildings. Census records show that my Italian great grandparents bought a house on this block, closer to 3rd Ave, after immigrating here in 1905. I'd like to think that the block had other Italians living there, that they knew Rosanelli or just watched the construction of this building.

onemorefoldedsunset said...

Thanks Chris. I found a link to the Belcher Hyde insurance map of 1929, and it shows the buildings that were demolished at the corner of 31st and Third, where your great grandparents must have lived. I also wrote a piece on Third Avenue and its early history; it covers some of the changes along that part of Third.