Major James Cating served in the Union army during the Civil War and received a battlefield promotion for bravery. In 1865, the war hero settled in Maspeth and established Cating Rope Works, which became one of the area’s major employers. He was also a master builder. Among the houses he constructed were three along 69th Street north of 53rd Avenue – one for himself, one for his brother and one for his sister. Two of these houses are pictured here.
In 1998, the three one-family houses were knocked down and a dozen cookie-cutter two-family houses were built in their place, ruining both the history and character of that part of Maspeth, not to mention eliminating your chances of finding a place to park around there.