My Autobiography by Michael Normandy, Sr.
MAUJER STREET: THE BEGINNING - 1930
184 Maujer Street was the earliest recollection of my world. A three-family house, three-story walk-up, four rooms in each apartment with full bathrooms! A rarity for houses of that era, 1930-1931.
My motherís father, Vincenzo Simonetti, was the owner of the house located in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn, New York. Most of the houses in the neighborhood were wood-framed buildings built in the early 1900s. 184 must have been built in the early Ď20s. Most of the houses on the same block (street) were typical walk-up tenement houses, without heat, bathrooms, and/or toilets. Toilets were added many years after the houses were built. The infamous outhouse was a way of life even in the "big" city. So 184 Maujer Street was a cut above the rest!
The houses of that era were built with very ornate exteriors. Lots of gingerbread around the entrance. Tall exterior doors with cut glass inserts. Every front window had cornices above it in various architectural styles. Usually there was a two- or three-step porch (stoop) leading up to the front door.
Then there was a vestibule with a ceramic tile floor. In this vestibule were the mailboxes for the tenants, and the bell buttons to ring the bell in each apartment. In the apartment there was a bell button used to electrically unlock the inner vestibule door, allowing the visitor to enter the hallway leading to the stairway to the second and third floor apartments.
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