Liberty Avenue
West of Elton

For east of Elton, visit Zone 6

Named "Liberty" because it was a free road for farmers, as opposed to a toll road like Jamaica Turnpike.


Click on thumbnails to enlarge

Looking east along Liberty Avenue toward Snediker,1910 and 1948
Starting at the western end, we begin with a really early 1910 view looking east across Van Sinderen Avenue and the old Manhattan Beach line. The tracks were at grade, and we can see a crossing attendant seated by the gates. In the distance , along Snediker, is the Fulton Elevated line. In the 1948 image on the right, we see the defunct Fulton Avenue Elevated structure with updated structure, running above Snediker Avenue. The large brick building in the distance behind the bus is the old Piels plant. There is almost nothing still standing from this image today.
Liberty and Alabama, 1960s
The first view is west along Liberty Avenue from Alabama Avenue.On the right, the view is east along Liberty Avenue and we can see the Piels administration building.
Piel's Brewery, 1947
Located off Georgia Ave. , the Piels Brewery had a famous neon advertising sign atop the building. Prior to using the "Harry and Burt" advertising scheme, the Piels Co. used gnomes in their advertising. These gnomes could be seen in the neon sign "bowling" as the lights changed. On the right, the Piels administration building, built circa 1959 and pictured in 1973. Thanks to the assistance of Breweriana collector TJ Wiegand, we have a page dedicated to the Piels brewery .
Liberty and Georgia Avenue, 1948
The view is east along Liberty from Georgia. The massive structure on the right is the Piel's plant, long gone. The lot currently stands empty. When I showed my mother the image, she remembered the gas station on the left and the attendant who used to tease her about being a Dodgers fan.
Liberty and Pennsylvania Avenue, 1948
Both views are east along Liberty; the first is towards Pennsylvania Avenue and the courthouse and the second is from Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the courthouse. There's a nice timestamp of two defunct brands, Trommers and Nash, on the billboards.
Bordens Dairy, Liberty Avenue 1905
The first Borden plant in East New York was located on Liberty Avenue, between New Jersey Avenue and Vermont Street.They would eventually take over the Empire State Dairy and move to their plant on Atlantic Avenue. For a little bit of mystery, the building in that location today has the exact same footprint, though it is clearly a 2-story building and the Borden building was 3 stories. I know Rubel Bros., the coal and ice company, used the building in the 1930s for garages. This one needs more investigating.
Liberty and Wyona, 1948
We are looking east along the north side of Liberty from Wyona. On the corner is Mannone's Poultry Market. That building and the one next to it are now gone.
Zion Evangelical Church
Maker: Wm. Fick Dated: Unk Status: own(BG)
Located on the south side of Liberty Avenue between Wyona and Bradford, I have very little history of this church. We know a building in this location was used by East End Baptist in 1887, but we are unsure if it was this one. We believe this structure was a replacement built in the mid 1890s. It is listed in the 1924 Brooklyn Red Book. It is rare for churches like this to disappear; usually another denomination will just take it over. Rod Maggio recalls McKesson Robbins Pharmaceuticals built in this area. The address no longer exists, absorbed into another lot. Neil Sullivan provided the update shot in 2006.
Duman Textile, Liberty and Bradford
This picture dates to 1915. The view is the southeast corner and on the far left is the police station. The building is still standing and serving as a church, as seen on the right.
Police Station, Liberty and Miller
Dated: 1908 Maker:Souvenir Post Card Co. Status: Own (RG)
A current resident and fan of the site sent in a current photo; apparently it was a church for awhile. This station, designed by George Ingram, was constructed in 1892 for what was then known as the 17th Pct. The 75th Precint is now located on Sutter between Linwood and Essex (thanks Rod). Check out the story on the old police station.
Liberty Avenue east from Hendrix, 1925
A great early shot showing a vibrant Liberty Avenue with a trolley rolling towards the camera. What's interesting is that a number of these buildings are still standing. You can spot some in the 1960s shots below.
Liberty and Schenck, 1960s
From the "accident" series. The first view is looking north, toward Atlantic Avenue. The smokestack is from the old Borden's plant. The view on the right is looking east along Liberty from Schenck. Doering's fishing tackle store is visible on the right.
These are closeups from an alternate take of the second view along Liberty Avenue.
Liberty and Schenck, 1952
Ironically, this collection included an accident on the same corner in 1952; the bar at the time was the Liberty Tavern and we can see the fishing store on the right.
Liberty and Jerome
On the northeast corner is the old St. Michael's High School, which is now housing the Salve Regina Academy- the combination of St. Malachy's, St. Rita's, St. Sylvesters and St. Michaels. There is a separate St. Michael's page with history and pictures. The location circled in this 2010 image is 606 Liberty. Apparently this is where the actor Steve Buscemi grew up in the 1960s.
OK, we're working the south side of the block now between Warwick and Jerome. That's the remains of Keller Shoe Manufacturing in a shot by Rod Maggio taken in 1982. A footnote from his comments on fashion over in Zone 5; "..featherweights and french toe shoes were the most "coveted" style then you got them @ Thom McCann, AS Beck, and Kellers on s/side of Liberty Ave Warwick-Jerome; many called them Kellers Kardboards, but they were real leather too". Rod notes they did actually manufacture there, only doing retail in the 1940s-1960s. Rod also recalled they heated the place with a pot belly stove. Tim O'Reilly's family had some connections with the Keller family, and he includes an old photo with his Aunt's recollections under the 'Stories' button.
Also from 1982, Rod shot the southwest corner of Liberty and Warwick. The location was a "clubhouse" for a period from 1958-1960.
Liberty Avenue, east from Warwick Street, 1925
Another great early shot, looking towards Ashford Street in 1925.







Engine 25, 1892
When the 26th Ward was incorporated into Brooklyn in 1886, the old volunteer fire departments were disbanded and the city of Brooklyn provided professional fire protection per the annexation agreement. The first company set up was Engine 25. In this photo they are standing in front of their permanent home, built in 1890, on the north side of Liberty between Ashford and Cleveland. Rod Maggio's 1982 pic of the north side of Liberty between Ashford and Cleveland shows the firehouse. According to Rod, it housed Ladder 225, which has since moved to Liberty and South Conduit. (Rick's note; Engine 25 became Engine 225 in 1913. No Ladder company served here, it was housed on New Jersey Avenue. Engine 225 moved to 799 Lincoln Ave. in 1970, where it remains today. Engine 332 took residence here in 1970 and moved to 165 Bradford Street in 1985.) Rod provides a lot more detail of the block under the "Stories" button.
Google Books Digital archives.
Now moving east between Cleveland and Elton- Rod's 1982 image was too blurry so I am using a Local Live image to ID his background history; "(1) Don Peppe "Vesuvio" Restaurant, is actually his 2nd location, the 3rd in on Lefferts Blvd n-west corner 149 Ave, the 1st was on n-side liberty linwood-essex first bldg east of Blanda Funeral Home was three or 4 steps down from sidewalk exact time of moving to cleveland st can only be gotten from somebody "olda" than me, Chick Giamundo, Mikey "Pop" or Vinny "Papalardo ? Along Cleveland side of building my friend John "Chutz" told me his uncle hadda poolroom there in the 30's............I only knew of a dress/clothing shop/factory there into the 60's.... (2)the red brick building was a Marine engine/motor shop, did little auto work too. Then Nappo's and Patty "Jugs" bldg's "
Vinny Capasso supplied us with update shots taken in December 2011 of both the original Don Peppe's and the second location mentioned in Rod's description above.