Lena and Henry walked from their home at 191 Sullivan Place to watch the last home game played at Ebbets Field.
They loved cheering for their Brooklyn Dodgers, especially when they played the Yankees and New York Giants.
Most summer nights they would sit out on the 2nd floor terrace of their home and listen to the announcer call play-by-play over the stadium’s PA system.
And they knew by the roar of the crowd when their team was at bat or on base.
So you can imagine how they and every Dodger fan felt when they saw where Pee Wee Reese, Gil Hodges and Jackie Robinson had played get reduced to rubble.
It would be 55 years before Brooklyn would have a major league sports team to cheer for.
at 191 Sullivan Place
Lena and Henry jumped at the chance to buy 191 Sullivan Place in 1957 to live near the stadium.
You knew they were avid baseball fans the moment you walked into the window enclosed porch entrance of the 1st floor unit.
The sun filled room showcased Pennant flags, signed baseballs and other Dodger memorabilia.
However, their baseball shrine was limited to that space since Lena wanted their home to be warm, comfortable and inviting.
They loved hosting socials for their choir from Bridge Street A.M.E. Church, who they would entertain in both the living and formal dining rooms.
When events became “standing room only,” they would accommodate guests in the breakfast nook off the kitchen.
While the first floor unit had all the charm and formality common in row house architecture, it was the 2nd floor unit that had a grander feel.
click to view floor plans
With a separate foyer off the main entrance, the staircase leads to 2 separate entrances.
If you enter through the left door, you’d walk into the living room. Then you’d find yourself in the room commonly used as a master bedroom because of its exclusive access to the outdoor terrace.
Enter by the door facing the staircase and you walk directly into the dinning room just off the kitchen.
With so much daylight from the windows facing South, West and North, the top floor unit begins to feel even more spacious than it appears.
But there’s an even better feature that this townhouse boasts.
And that’s the 2nd staircase that connects each floor plus the basement to the driveway entrance of the building.
Lena was pleased that they could use the driveway to bring items directly into the kitchen or basement after shopping.
Her second favorite feature of her home? Its basement.
Lena was a hairstylist by trade, and after working for years in other salons, she decided to start her own beauty salon business in the basement.
There was so much space available that she even set up a waiting room, complete with television, bathroom and magazine racks.
in Crown Heights, Brooklyn
This part of Brooklyn (formerly known as Flatbush), was well served by subway transportation because of the stadium.
To get to work, Henry took the 2 train that stopped 3 blocks away at the Sterling Street subway station.
Most people traveling to see home games often took the train to Prospect Park station just 4 blocks away.
This area is experiencing a revival with new mixed use development planned along Empire Blvd with new commercial offerings coming soon.
For nearly 60 years …
Lena and Henry had made 191 Sullivan Place their home, making them the second owners since the property was built in 1925.
She would continue operating her beauty salon, faithfully attend church and travel to far off places and experience other cultures.
She even took up painting during her beloved sister’s battle with cancer to remind her of the beauty found in a life well lived.
Just 5 months shy of her 100th birthday in 2016, Lena wanted one last opportunity to root for the home team at the Barclays Center
Only this time, heaven made sure both she and Henry had the best seats in the house.