Eagles on the BQE

The Brooklyn Queens Expressway, or BQE, is one of New York’s more miserable driving experiences. For some reason, the BQE is endlessly under construction (yet never seems to get any better), is barely wide enough to support its six lanes, and at any time of day, there’s a solid chance you’ll hit bumper to bumper traffic…

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…which is where I found myself on this particular sunny afternoon. As we inched along at a snail’s pace, I suddenly noticed something on an otherwise unremarkable Brooklyn apartment building…

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I swear, I’ve driven by this building over a thousand times and never noticed anything special…

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But as we passed by at about two miles per hour, I spotted them…

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Two awesome, randomly-placed art deco eagles on the upper corners of the building:

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A really awesome building adornment, and almost out of place on a building with no other notable design features.

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In fact, if you were coming from the opposite direction, you’d never even guess they were there.

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Anyway, next time you’re stuck on the BQE heading north, just a little something to look out for (corner of Park Ave & North Portland Ave, if you’re lucky enough to be on the surface roads).

-SCOUT

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8 comments

  1. Scout, I’m no longer living in NY but was born and raised until
    the age of 21. I moved after graduating from college but I have
    to state that taking the BQE every day during school year was the
    most incredible experience one can ever have. Guaranteed that
    if you had a class at 7:30 a.m. you better give yourself an extra
    hour and I mean an extra hour if you took the BQE. It’s made
    me a stronger person and as always, great photo’s.

  2. Thank you! i see these all the time – I grew up near there as well as going to high school in ft. Greene.

    Yup! Out of nowhere – they appear.

  3. Eagle eyed scout – great sighting!

  4. Wow! Great eye. I have to say it looks more than mildly national socialist.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kernbeisser/2894058568/

    http://www.writeinberlin.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Reichsadler-I1.jpg

    I really enjoy your work, Thanks for sharing.

  5. The housing was built for the Navy Yard workers – hence the eagles.

  6. Love that building – very distinctive to have decoration on a public housing project.

    That building is part of Ingersoll houses. The bulk of the project is south of the BQE and does not have the eagles. This one building was built by the United States Housing Authority at the outset of WWII – planning and construction started in the Spring of ’41, before we were actually in the war. It was specifically constructed to house workers at the Navy Yard, some 200 or so families. The entire complex was constructed by the NYC Housing Authority, but this building was the only one funded by the feds. I guess their involvement explains the eagles (they are very typical of federal architecture of the period, whereas most state-funded public housing was without adornment).

    The city’s project (south of the BQE) was originally called Fort Greene Houses, and included the buildings to the east that are now part of Whitman Houses. I’m not sure when Ft. Greene houses was split into Ingersoll (named for Raymond V., Borough President of Brooklyn in the early 20th century) and Whitman, or if this building was always considered part of Ft. Greene Houses.

  7. The buildings remained Navy Yard housing with nice size apts, etc into the late 40s, when they changed hands and the apts were re-built to NYCHA specs.

  8. cool post! the eagle looks like it stood for pride . that is was something with honor . i dont know. looks like a story from a book to me xD thanks for posting this

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