Re: 875 Lafayette, Bedford-Stuyvestant, Bklyn, NY #general
The city of New York keeps records of two key document categories that
would be relevant: certificates of occupancy (which say how many units
are in a building) and "actions" (such as building modifications).
Interestingly, this building has no certificate of occupancy on file,
which is unusual but it is recorded as being a 2-family home today (in
those same records). The building has alterations on record, only in
1921 and 1961. As there's no certificate of occupancy recorded, it's
hard to know what happened when without going to the Bulidings
Department borough office (Brooklyn). However, it's pretty clear this
was built as a single-family brownstone and at some point was modified
to be a 2-family home: it was, in all likelihood at one of these
There would be no legal way for a retail business to be located in
this building, so it was definitely someone's home.
I would suggest looking at the 1920 and 1925 census records to see
what families lived there. You can find these more readily, by
address, by knowing the census enumeration district. You can find this
on steven morse: http://stevemorse.org/nyc/nyc.php and then choosing
US Census on the left and then finding NY Census (1925) or US Census
(1920). Providing the address will help you narrow it down which can
point to the actual piece of microfilm and see who the residents were.
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