A Little Bit About 59 Hicks Street, Former Home of the Heights Veterinary Hospital

In its story today about the surprise closure of the Heights Veterinary Hospital, Brooklyn Eagle writer Mary Frost links to a 2005 story telling a little bit about the history of 59 Hicks Street as written by the late Dr. Bernard Wasserman:

Brooklyn Eagle: “The house I bought in 1957, 59 Hicks St., to start my veterinary practice, was owned by an elderly bachelor: Joe Kaplan. Joe had a shop near the Brooklyn Navy Yard where he repaired and altered Navy uniforms. Having to leave that location because the building was to be demolished, he had bought 59 Hicks St.

“The ground floor had store windows and at one time held a chain grocery store. The walls and ceiling were covered in patterned pressed tin and all the pipes were exposed near the very high ceiling. It was built in 1822 by a man named John Rogers, who was a cooper…

…Mentioned in the book “The Great Bridge” by David McCullough was the fact that the house was used as the architectural office for the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, which I had been told by old-timers in the neighborhood who got the information via their parents.

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  • Jeremy

    The house was built by John Rogers but 5-10 years earlier than 1822. (That date comes from Lancaster’s book but it just refers to the earliest Brooklyn directory. Rogers and the house appear in the 1820 census and earlier property records.)

    In its first decade, this house sat on the southern edge of development in the Heights.

    There’s an excellent picture of the house when it still had clapboard siding and a stoop in the book of Heights photos by Brian Merlis.

    The 3 adjoining townhouse on Cranberry Street were built later in the nineteenth century on the former rear of the 59 Hicks lot. They originally had stoops too.

  • Jean Campbell

    The closing of this wonderful gathering place for both animals and people marks the end of an era that included Truman Capote. I will always think fondly of Dr.Wasserman with his many talents and good energy.

  • persimmon

    Dr. Turoff and Dr. Norton were my vets for 20+ years. I will miss them greatly.

  • Andrew Porter

    I’ve sent photos of 57-59 Hicks in 1922 to Homer.