“New Prospect Hall: An architectural addition to South Brooklyn that will rival Amusement Halls in the City”
Brooklyn is to have another handsome music hall. When Prospect Hall, the place made famous by the number of political conventions held there, is rebuilt on Fifteenth Street, near Fifth Avenue, it will be one of the finest halls of amusement that the city has ever known and will be unique inasmuch as it will not only contain a handsome theater and music hall, but will have accommodation for nearly every form of amusement that can be contained in one building, as well as an open air garden next to it with an electric tower and Ferris wheel, etc. There will be the only roof garden in Brooklyn, the highest in the whole city owing to the altitude of the locality and the height of the structure itself.
Prospect Hall was burned down some time ago, and John Kolle made up his mind that when he rebuilt it he would see to it that South Brooklyn had a temple of music and amusement that would be a credit to the locality. Ulrich J. Huberty received the award among several competing architects, and Senator Joseph Wagner received the contract for building, equipping, etc. A first-class vaudeville show will be given in the main theater during the winter and continued on the roof garden in the summer. No money will be spared to make this structure the finest as well as the safest of its kind in the city. It will be the first to be erected under the new and stringent building laws.
The size of the building will be 75 feet front by 215 feet deep and four stories high. The style of architecture, both exterior and interior, is modern French Renaissance. The material of the exterior will be white brick, with Indiana limestone trimmings. The basement will be equipped with ten bowling alleys, a billiard room, laundry and kitchen. The boilers, engines and electric dynamos will be placed outside of the building under the sidewalk.
The first floor is to be occupied by restaurant club room, “alt Deutsch” bier stube, bar room, women’s parlor and a large banquet hall, which will be about 68 feet by 80 feet in size, and which will be absolutely free and clear of columns. This is made possible by spanning the banquet hall with large plate girders which support the ballroom above. One of the main features of the first floor, in fact of the entire building, will be the fine central entrance, which well be 18 feet wide and have a grand staircase of marble leading up to the second floor loggias at the ball room entrance. These loggias will be enhanced with royal Irish green marble columns and beautifully decorated cornices and ceilings.
The second floor in the front part of the building is said to be occupied by a café, loggias, cloakrooms and a handsome parlor, which will be elegantly furnished and decorated. The third floor in the front part of the building is said to be occupied by three large and handsome reception rooms, parlors, and cloak rooms, which will be used for small receptions, etc. The fourth floor in front is to be occupied by two lodge rooms with auxiliary ante and preparation rooms. These lodge rooms are to be equipped in first-class style and will be richly decorated. Access to the lodge rooms on the fourth floor will be by means of large electric elevator and separate staircase, which will also lead to the main floor of the ballroom and to the balcony and gallery. In addition to the central entrance mentioned, there will be separate entrances on each side of the building, one leading to elevators, hall and lodge rooms and the other leading to the ball room and annex hall.
The ball room will occupy the entire rear of the building and will be located on the second floor. It will be 68 feet by 125 feet in size, the largest in the city. The ceiling, which will be 40 feet above the floor, is to be enriched by a large electrical dome 35 feet in diameter. Besides this, there will be two smaller domes and handsome coved cornices. There will also be a balcony and gallery, which will extend along both sides and across the rear, supported by highly polished royal Irish green marble columns and gilded capitals. The balcony will be divided into 26 boxes, in addition to which there will be four large proscenium boxes.
Both balcony and gallery are planned in the shape of a horseshoe, and as special attention and a great amount of study has been devoted to acoustic qualities and sight lines, it is expected that the room will very nearly perfect in this respect. There will be large marble staircases on each side of the ball room leading up to the balcony and gallery.
The building is among the first of its kind in the greater city to be built under the new law and will therefore be absolutely fireproof and have a great number of exits. The ball room alone, including balcony and gallery, will have 19 exits, 15 of which will be for fire purpose only, opening out onto large covered balcony and stair fire escapes, which will lead directly out onto the street through ten feet wide open corridors on each side of the building. In addition there will be many fire exits in the front part of the building, leading from lodge rooms, reception rooms, etc.
Special attention will be paid to the decoration of the ballroom and it is expected that the balcony and gallery fronts, also the proscenium arch, all of which will be of composition material, will compare favorably as to artistic merit with any in the city. In the rear of the ball room there will be a perfectly equipped stage with fly galleries, rigging loft and all other auxiliaries of a modern stage, also six commodious dressing rooms, all of which will be fireproof. There will be distinct fire exits for the stage. The building will be protected against fire by a sprinkling system, besides which there will be casks, buckets, ladders, hooks and axes in various parts of the building.
The heating and ventiliating of the building will be on the most approved lines and the lighting of the entire building will be most brilliant and especially will this be the case in the ball room, where an endless variety of effects are to be provided.
The fact that there will be 2,000 sixteen candle power electric in the building gives some idea of the brilliant effect which will be attained. Contracts call for the completion of the building by February 1, 1902. Work is now progressing and is well underway. The cost of the building without equipment, will be $150,000.
Mr. Huberty, the architect, is at present constructing the new $80,000 crematory in the Borough of Queens, also the new building for the United National Bank at 42nd Street and Broadway