According to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the 2.5-story wood-frame house was built in 1887, along with many other wood-frame homes, during a Bushwick building boom that followed the construction of the elevated train. It “may be the only remaining frame house that retains its original detailing by the prominent Brooklyn architect Theobald Engelhardt” — the architect responsible for the building that now houses the Wythe Hotel, among many other churches, schools, and homes.
Engelhardt moved the house to its current site at the behest of its then owner, Henry C. Bohack, the founder of the grocery store chain that totaled 740 stores by the time he died in 1931. At the time, Bohack was worth $10 million.
According to the LPC, “changes in Bushwick’s demographics were reflected in the ownership and occupancy of 1090 Greene Avenue,” as it came to be owned by black and Latino families in the ’70s and ’80s. In 1991 it was sold to Percival G. Morrison and Pauline V. Roberts.
The LPC described the home as “an unusually well-preserved reminder of the middle-class housing of that period,” and noted that it “is one of the few remaining frame houses from this period in Bushwick that retains its historic clapboard siding and architectural ornament; it is an extremely handsome and ornate example of the work of a vernacular type popular for frame houses in the 1880s and 1890s, of which there are few survivors.”
For more about the house, and the fascinating history of Bushwick during its turn-of-the-century building boom, read the LPC’s full report, embedded below.