Brooklyn's Jewish Businessmen: Pre: 1925 Balton-Barnett


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BALTON, Zachariah C.

Zachariah C. Balton, of 186 Joralemon Street, is one of the boro's active builders in the group of the younger men, who are carving out a worthy record for themselves at present, and who may be heard from in years to come. With his characteristic enthusiasm and energy, he has been engrossed in his building projects, sanguine of Brooklyn's future, though also aware of the natural limitation which realty growth must meet.

Balton possesses a special aptitude for the gathering of data, first hand, as to the realty situation in the boro, and this penchant has created for him a prolific fund of information which he discusses with unusual lucidity. Personally, he is an affable, genial and altogether democratic young man, bent on doing his share in the building-up of Brooklyn. He has lived in the boro for twenty years, having here graduated from public and high schools, and subsequently from New York University.

His activities were carried on in the Bedford district and Boro Park, with which he is closely familiar. There he built several apartment houses, the last one but recently completed, on Ninth Avenue and Forty-seventh Street.

While believing in the steady progress of realty development for the boro, he nevertheless foresees the possibility of a retrenchment when land values had reached their limit. Overnight mushroom growth or skyrocketing during so-called booms tend to impair the even and healthy tenure of normal growth, is his opinion.

Balton spent tow of the most important years in his career in organizing the Associated Builders of Kings County from a handful of men into a group of 200 substantial and reputable builders. The body was founded in 1914 for the purpose of combating irresponsible combinations of supply houses of basic material and combinations of certain local labor unions, which it was felt were abusing, the fast growing building trade. This organization has increasingly grown in importance and at present plays a very important role in the sphere of builders' interests.

Balton lives at 1588 Sterling Place.


There must be, of course, something to explain the circumstance that the office of Hyman Barnett, Attorney of 44 Court Street, is almost invariably bubbling over with activity. He himself is not an operator, or builder, but strictly a lawyer, specializing in the aspects of the law that concern real estate. So that the possibility that people flock to him to inveigle his capital must at once be dismissed. A real estate lawyer may be prosperous, but he is hardly ever wealthy, unless he also operates or builds.

Barnett, I am told, knows the intricacies, the by-paths and the nuances of real estate law, as few men do, and there is no doubt about it. But even this his uncommon erudition would hardly account for his popularity. However, let us have no more of suspense, Barnett possesses a magnetic personality and an affable disposition in addition to his profound legal knowledge. And so they come to him because they like him, and also because they repose utmost confidence in his legal judgment.

Hyman Barnett was born in Russia, on May 17, 1877. He was brought to the United States when he was but ten years of age. Here he attended public school, the New York Preparatory School, and New York law School from which he graduated on June 8, 1899, and was admitted to the bar in November of the same year. He came to this boro in 1905, and has remained here since.

As attorney he comes into close touch with numerous builders, operators and brokers, many of whom are in the front ranks of the realty circles in this boro. He conducts probably one of the largest real estate practices in Greater New York and he does it without losing his homely though trenchant bits of wisdom, his congeniality, or his interest in the world of culture.

Barnett is a member of the Federation of Jewish Charities, Chamber of Commerce, Temple Beth El of Boro Park, Royal Arcanum, Order of the Sons of Zion. He is a Mason.

His recreations consist in theater, motoring, walking, reading.

He is father of four children, and lives at 1320 Forty-eighth Street.


Website: The History
Article Name: Brooklyn's Jewish Businessmen: Pre: 1925 Balton-Barnett
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Building up Greater Brooklyn: with sketches of men instrumental in Brooklyn's amazing development, Brooklyn, N.Y. by Leon Wexelstein; Brooklyn Biographical Society 1925.
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