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Corner of Henry and Pierrepont Street
The first evening of the NEH “Along the Shore” seminar we walked from 55 Clark Street to the Brooklyn Historical Society on Pierrepont Street. At the corner of Henry and Pierrepont Streets is this interesting house, The Edward Behr Mansion. Designed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, it is surrounded by brownstone and apartment buildings. A mix of power and delicacy, this structure stands out with its tiled roof, circular balcony, soaring chimneys, and prominent gable, all sitting on a prominent, bulky first floor. The detailing in the stone work trims the entire house.
Behr, a sandpaper tycoon, built the home for his family. It was subsequently used as a residential hotel for retired professionals and then for Franciscan friars. Before the good fathers occupied the house, Xaviera Hollander used this magnificent building for more secular activities well documented in The Happy Hooker. One wonders if a Franciscan exorcism took place?