Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The 1868 Adolphus J. Halsey Building - 11 East 10th Street


photograph by the author

Although Adolphus G. Halsey listed himself in directories as "carpenter," the scope of his operation more accurately deserved the term contractor, or builder.   In 1868 he erected a three-story, brick-faced house and store at 9 East 10th Street.  The vernacular structure borrowed from the waning Greek Revival style in its especially fine dentiled cornice.

More importantly for Halsey, in the rear of the property was his shop and office.  Interestingly, neither he nor any of his employees lived above the store in the main house.  Halsey lived a block away at 57 West 10th Street.  

He initially leased the store of the main building to Duff G. Reed & Co., coal dealers.  Reed was looking for a horse in November 1869, one that appears to have been for personal use.  His advertisement in the New York Herald was specific:

Wanted--A sound and gentle horse, 15 hands; gray preferred; must be a good stepper.  Address Reed & Co., 11 Tenth street.

Aolphus Halsey's position within the construction industry was such that in 1872 he was appointed one of the managers of the annual exhibition and fair of the American Institute.  Among his employees at the time were a mason, John H. Decker; a tinsmith and roofer, John P. Bloomer; and John Getz, Jr., a gilder.

The store was being leased to G. W. Everett starting 1888.  He was an inventor and supplier of a wide variety of construction materials.  In its August 1888 issue, Carpentry and Building wrote, "G. W. Everett, 11 East Tenth street, New York, is directing attention to a weather-proof window which he is introducing."  His invention included a rubber strip inserted into the grove of the sash, making the window "wind-proof."

Almost two decades later Everett was still obtaining patents.  On February 15, 1902 the Real Estate Record & Guide announced, "One of the latest novelties introduced on the market has considerable merit.  This is the Everett steel cover for wash tubs.  These covers are made in the most substantial manner, and will not curl up, split or open at the seams, making an asylum for bugs and dirt."  The article noted that the covers "do away with those obnoxious smells so common with wash tubs."

It appears that Adolphus J. Halsey had, understandably, retired by 1901.  He retained ownership of the property however, leasing his former shop to contractor and architect J. B. Wilson, who would remain at least through 1915.

The shop space in the main building was renovated for E. Ricker Stanton's real estate office in 1921.  The handsome little building drew little attention to itself until the 1970's.  Hubert Des Forges, which marketed itself as a "Kitchen Gift Shop," was in the store space by 1974.    That year Norma Skurka, writing in the Design column of The New York Times, was taken with the store's handblown wine goblets, which were "a copy of a turn-of-the-century French bistro glass."

The store was replaced by Jennie B. Goode in 1985.  It offered a variety of gift items from terra cotta picture frames to children's stuffed toys.  In the mid-1990's Neck Up/Mari O'Connor Bridal shop occupied the space, followed by a hair salon.

A renovation by architect Galia Solomonoff completed in 2000 resulted in a remodeled storefront and a single-family home above.

no permission to reuse the content of this blog has been granted to

No comments:

Post a Comment