Sunday, July 18, 2021

Stierville revisited


Most of the communities in our neighborhood have smaller subdivisions within them  such as Liberty Park in Glendale and Winfield in Woodside — and Ridgewood is no exception.

For years, people referred to the northern area of the community near the Brooklyn/Queens border as “Upper Ridgewood.” Howard Beach has a couple of subdivisions — including Hamilton Beach and Ramblersville — and Bayside has the communities of Oakland Gardens, Windsor Park and Bay Terrace.

Few people, however, know about the “Stierville” section of Ridgewood. This actually is an antiquated name for the area of Ridgewood northwest of Myrtle Avenue and Fresh Pond Road where Paul Stier built hundreds of one- and two-family brick rowhouses in the early part of the 20th century that have withstood the test of time.

The story of Stierville and the man behind it is quite fascinating, yet comes to a tragic and sudden conclusion.

Stier, who constructed more than 750 homes in Ridgewood and Glendale, was born in Germany in 1874 and emigrated the United States at the age of 17. He first settled in upstate Buffalo, where he worked as a mason. He traveled around the state for a while, working at various construction sites, until finally settling in our neighborhood.

In 1898, he married Anna Muller, and four years later constructed his first home. By 1905, he built a row of two-family brick houses on the east side of what was then called Yale Avenue (currently 64th Place). Three years later, he purchased land on Foxall Street (now 69th Avenue) between Forest Avenue and Buchman Avenue (now 60th Lane). He purchased additional land on Edsall Avenue (now 70th Avenue) between Anthon Avenue (now 60th Street) and Buchman Avenue.

On this land, Stier constructed two-family brick homes sold for $5,600 each (less than one percent of the market value of a similar home in Ridgewood today); buyers had to offer a $500 down payment, then paid the remaining balance over time.

Each home had 11 rooms on two floors, plus two tiled bathrooms, separate furnaces in the basement and hardwood trim throughout the structure. But this was only the beginning for Stier, who built 200 homes the previous two years and had plans to build another 144 in the immediate years ahead.




Jim said...

Hi, the story seems incomplete. I don't see the tragic conclusion

Anonymous said...

What was the tragic and sudden conclusion to Stivers story

Big Hairy Balls said...

The sad reality of today is the fact that no builder has any incentive to build "affordable" housing. The work luxury is thrown around to the point where buyers actually expect it.

Anonymous said...

How about Mathews Flats with a window in every room built expressly for working people. Got a quarter of all Queens building permits in 1913. Never a foreclosure on a single building

Joe said...

"I don't see the tragic conclusion"
Oh I can S'plain that !
I own a Stier on Seneca ave its one of the only ones left with original hardwoods, carvings, doors, B/W hex tile bathroom floor & claw tub. Still has the ornate plaster work going up the hallway steps.
Most the other have been so blinged out and bastardized, every wood molding painted over 30 times you can no longer see the craftsmanship they were.
That's the tragic conclusion of a once great neighborhood.

The worst: Nobody gives a shit, no pride, nothing but slumlords "collecting that rent" and renting to ANYBODY and ANYTHING as long as the $$$ is green or a Sec 8 check.
Come another black or democrat mayor I'm selling it.


Anonymous said...

Uuugh, it's got diversity and stuff in Ridgewood.
I'm moving to Alabama and taking my white hoodie outfit with me.
No wonder the Quotation Drone Guy is fed up with this place....

Anonymous said...

>Hi, the story seems incomplete. I don't see the tragic conclusion
>What was the tragic and sudden conclusion to Stivers story

Click the link on top of the article to go to the QNS website and read the complete story.

Anonymous said...

"""moving to Alabama and taking my white hoodie outfit with me"""

If you don't like "diversity" and its mud culture this poster has somewhat the right idea. -- but one problem with it.
In areas of Alabama, the Carolinas, Georgia if you don't attend church and aren't producing 3+ white Christian children those people don't want you either.
Better off in parts of north Texas maybe?