fabfab on Dec 17th 2009
“Block Book Of The City Of Brooklyn”
Because the houses have no number address, the way i found the house was by counting the number of houses, 99 Ryerson st is the 20th house from the right. (note; i started the count from where the houses start to organize themselves parallel)
If you look at the older map, there is a section of land where houses have not yet been built. For this i counted the number of houses in between 99 Ryersonandwhere the houses with 3 storys end.
These insurance maps of 1846 are huge atlases that you must locate your block by a number system, staring with the neighborhood then the lot block number. I was lucky enough to find the house on Ryerson street said to be Whitman residence. it was tricky locating the house, because 180 years ago the houses were not all the same and the addresses very definitely different.
The yellow means the house was of wooden construction.
The red means the house was of brick construction.
I find the page with my cross streets, then try to find the exact house.
Bingo! I found the house! by counting the number of houses from left to right i found the house.
Desk Atlas of the Borough of Brooklyn, City of New York. Volume one, 1920
You must know your block number (mine was 1892), then you find the page that your block is on.
99 Ryerson st is the house i circled.
Below is a satellite image from Google Earth of the neighborhood
99 is the house I highlighted yellow, you can see it better on the closer images below.
This view reminds me of the insurance maps.
It is amazing the house is still standing 154 years after Whitman lived there.