One Hundred and Six Years of Rent Control

UPDATE 5/7/07:  The family of the man mentioned in the Brooklyn Eagle story excerpted below is questioning its veracity. The article has since been removed from the newspaper's website. BHB has been able to verify that a "David A*****" was listed as resident of 187 Hicks in the telephone records as late as 2006 and as early as 1963.  However, we have not been able to find any corroborating  information regarding the other claims made in the Eagle's story including the report of rent control and the family's contiguous residency. And while there is evidence that Mr. A***** was born in Brooklyn in 1920 or 1921, there is no proof that he was born in Brooklyn Heights, much less AT 187 Hicks.


The A***** family, parents and son, lived at 187 Hicks Street for a combined total of 106 years. At the time of his death, son D**** was paying a reported $451.12 a month in rent. That same apartment will sell for somewhere north of $800K as a coop after renovation.

Brooklyn Eagle: A Real NY Real Estate Story: There are a million stories in the naked city, as they say about New York.

Jay Schippers, a Brooklyn developer, says he has one — “a real New York City real estate story.” A tenant in one of his buildings in Brooklyn Heights died in March. And, although that’s not such an unusual thing, it is unusual that the former tenant, the late David A****, was born in the apartment — at 187 Hicks St., known as Florence Court — and lived there his entire life.

“His parents were the first tenants to move into the unit when the building was first built in 1901 and they passed the apartment down to their son,” said Schippers, president of Jay M. Schippers Realty. “So the unit has been in the same family its entire history of 106 years.”

Note: We have omitted the name of the man in the story here on BHB out of respect for his family. While this information is readily available via the public domain, we ask that you refrain from posting it in comments below. Thank you. 

The Eagle also reports that the new owner of the former Watchtower property at 10 Clark Street plans to rent the 37 available units in the building ASAP.

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  • Claude Scales

    Quite a legacy! It’s amusing that “rent” is part of the family name.

    BTW, the Eagle is seven million shy of the mark. It’s “There are eight million stories in the Naked City.

    This brings to mind a particular episode of that series that I saw on one of the local TV stations in the mid-1980s, shortly after I moved to the Heights. It was about a boy of about nine or ten, severely visually impaired, who got separated from his class on a field trip to the American Museum of Natural History. He made his way across Central Park and was accosted by a gang of tough kids near the Bethesda Fountain. One of them asked him where he was from; when he answered “Brooklyn,” this prompted hoots of derision. He was then dared to walk on the narrow railing between the sidewalk and a drop of about twenty feet to the plaza in front of the Fountain, which he did, and made his escape. He encountered various other adventures on his way downtown to the Brooklyn Bridge, which he crossed at dusk. When he reached the Brooklyn side, he had to navigate a huge construction site, with plank walkways threading between open pits guarded only by sawhorses. When I saw the show, I wondered what this was. Then it occurred to me: this episode was shot when Cadman Plaza was under construction. Anyway, he made it through this last hazard and, at the end, climbed the stoop of a typical Heights brownstone, rang the doorbell, and was greeted by his overjoyed parents.

    Does anyone else remember this show?

  • nabeguy

    Absolutely do remember that show, since I saw part of it being shot. The construction site may have indeed been the first Cadman Tower that went up at Middagh and Fulton. As for the brownstone, that happens to be the first or second one on Columbia Heights just south of Middagh next to Harry Chapin Park. This was probably a good 40 years ago, but I remember the poor kid had to keep going up and down the steps of the brownstone before he got the shot right. Thanks for the nice memory CS!

  • Homer Fink

    Check ’em out : Naked City

  • CS

    Actually, the movie “Naked City” is being offered for free this month on Channel 1008 under TCM free movies.

  • Anonymous

    106 years? This is an unbelievable story! Because it’s almost all false.
    His family is trying to get the Eagle to correct their story, before it spreads any further.

  • Noone of Consequence

    Then please enlighten us to the truth.

  • Homer Fink

    Yes, please.

  • nabeguy

    To Claude- Here’s a synopsis of the epsiode off the NAKED CITY site:
    11/21/62 Episode name: A HORSE HAS A BIG HEAD…LET HIM WORRY!
    A teacher of near-blind children who fills her pupils with the feeling that they are not handicapped agonizes over her methods when one of her students gets off a Manhattan bus, determined to make his own way back to Brooklyn. Writer: Abram S. Ginnes. Dir.: Denis Sanders. Guest cast: Diahann Carroll, John Megna, Audra Lindley, Graham Jarvis, Sorrell Booke. (Note: Diahann Carroll was nominated for an Emmy for this episode.)

  • Claude Scales

    Nabeguy – thanks! I’ll have to look for a DVD that includes that episode. Obviously, there are lots of details I’ve forgotten.

  • Anonymous

    The truth:

    Mr. A***** wasn\’t born in the apartment. He was born near Park
    Slope. His family moved to 187 Hicks Street in the late 1930\’s. His
    family lived in the apartment for under 70 years, not 106. They were
    not original tenants of 187 Hicks Street.

    I don\’t know why the landlord would have said these things.