Brooklyn's Jewish Businessmen: Pre: 1925   Gold-Goldberg


GOLD, Louis

The word "genius" ought to be used, of course, only with meticulous care and sharp discrimination. For a genius is a man possessed of faculties entirely unknown to the large mass of the people. And genius means far away more than merely a talent or a great ability. Yet, with all such reservations and all this agility lest one fall into error, it would be hard to escape pinning on Louis Gold, of 270 Madison Avenue, Manhattan, just that epithet.

As one listens to his recount of both the quantity and variety of building he has carried on, it seems well-nigh incredible that but one man, only fifty years of age, can have done it. Even admitting that he has not been neglected by lady Luck, his achievements yet remain a source of amazement and wonder.

And with all that, with a record back of him that is both stupendous and startling, Louis Gold still keeps up the feverish pace which was his almost from the very moment he landed in this country as a boy of thirteen. Far from letting up, he keeps on diversifying and increasing his activities, thus ever-widening the far-flung domain in which the hand of Louis Gold has already been seen.

Louis Gold fairly revels in this business of being always on the go. With an intense gusto he continually seeks new opportunities for wholesale development, and, oddly enough, he picks them where others just can't see them.

With the instinct of the true prospector and the intuition of the pioneer he can detect golden chances for growth in spots that are presumably stagnant or unpromising. And, then, in the wake of his efforts there usually follows a flood of other realtors and builders, eager to emulate him.

Louis Gold was born in Russia, on February 15, 1875. There he attended what is known as a gymnasium_a counterpart of the American High School, but he was only thirteen when he came to t he United States, and, of course, his schooling was incomplete. Working in daytime to support himself, he attended night school for the purpose of both general education, and to get a better view of the English language. Only two years after his arrival here, he was already offered a job as manager of the Union Casualty Insurance Company. Shortly after, he entered the real estate field.

Gold's accomplishments in Brooklyn are large and exceedingly important. When he came to the boro in 1901 he became interested, first, in developing Bay Ridge, a section that was then in its infancy. With his usual fore-sight and enthusiasm and his liking for big operations, he plunged into a large-scale building of homes and business buildings in Bay Ridge. There he purchased literally thousands of lots, in the territory lying between 36th and 86th Streets, north and south, and Second and Sixth Avenues, east and west. Then he developed 36th Street, all the way to the ocean front. From Bay Ridge, Gold shifted his efforts to Boro Park, where he put up hundreds of buildings, then to Flatbush where he was a pioneer in the erection of stores as well as homes (here, too, he had obtained more than 2,000 lots) and finally he came to Ridgewood here he secured 800 lots and developed them. Altogether Gold is probably responsible for the construction of nearly 5,000 houses in Brooklyn alone.

At present Louis Gold is operating on his usual tremendous scale in Florida. His big mind and his uncanny vision have been diverted in the direction of Florida and it is safe to predict that in Florida he will duplicate his marvelous successes in Greater New York City.

A man like Gold is a true benefactor to this country. He is an asset to the United States as much as an outstanding statesman or an extraordinary inventor. His value in the progress of the country is inestimable, and it is indeed this country's good fortune that he happened to come here when he was a youth instead of drifting somewhere else. But he would be a giant no matter where you placed him in France, in England, in Africa or anywhere else.

It is in his nature to do big things: it is in his temperament to achieve on a large scale: and it is in his character to make friends while also doing business. You could place him in a desert or upon an island, and he would create upon a desert some model city, or he would make out of that island an important port of landing.

Gold is endowed with precious natural faculties such as for instance a good memory. He carries a bewildering fund of information and data in his head, and he does not have to look up in his notebook any information that is really vital. His mind is capable of grasping the fundamental principles instantly, and like a field marshal of an army he orders forth all the necessary details at a moment's notice. Small enterprises do not catch his ear nor eye while huge tasks seem to provide the very fuel for which his heart and soul crave.

Personally, Gold is a very congenial, broadly sympathetic and generous man_the sort of a man who is considered the center of any gathering. He radiates cheer and optimism and good fellowship. And he is always interested in helping his fellow-men by his participation in philanthropic work. Then, also, many a young man, who found himself in a bitter struggle, drew from Gold that encouragement and inspiration which permitted him to go on and fight his way in the world. Gold enjoys affluence and high prestige and the regard of the community, but he has not forgotten his own early struggles, and so he is keenly appreciative of the struggles of others.

Louis Gold is a member of the Federation of Jewish Charities, the orphan Asylum, the Y.M.H.A. He is Vice President of the Fresh Air Camp Assn.; Director of the Yeshiva College, member of the United Aid Society, Chamber of Commerce, Unity Club, Fresh Meadow Golf Club, the Elks, and all the regional chambers in the boro.

Whatever leisure time he manages to snatch from the multitude of his interests and activities, he employs for his recreations which are golf, the theater and the opera.

He is married, is the father of two children, and lives with his family at 1901 Avenue H, Flatbush.


When the complete story is told of the development of that section of Brooklyn which is known as Bay Ridge and which within the last score of years has risen from utter obscurity to prominence the name of Hyman Goldberg, of 105 Court Street, will inevitably come to mind. The men who have done as much as Goldberg could be enumerated on the fingers of one hand, if indeed one hand were required.

Goldberg had come to Bay Ridge years ago. He foresaw the possibilities that the spacious section was offering and he diagnosed its real value, with the construction of the Fourth Avenue subway. He built numerous family houses, apartment house, and a number of garages and some business property. And he saw his faith in Bay Ridge more than fully realized.

Hyman Goldberg hails from Russia, where he was born in July, 1883. He came here twenty-one years ago, just upon reaching his majority, and he started his career as what was known as an "ornamental worker" in the building line. A few years later he entered the realty field. He has lived in this boro all his life, since his arrival in America.

Goldberg is a man of wide sympathies and of profound understanding. he is a genuine philanthropist, w ho delights in helping others not only because he recalls his own lean years, but out of his sincere urge to do so. He is invariably courteous, gentle and patient, whatever the particular cause that engages his attention.

Goldberg is a member of the Brooklyn Federation of Jewish Charities and of its Real Estate Club, and of the Israel-Zion Hospital, and many other local and national institutions.

His recreations consist in theatre, and motoring. He is the father of six children, and lives with his family at 1357 46th Street.


Website: The History
Article Name: Brooklyn's Jewish Businessmen: Pre: 1925 Gold-Goldberg
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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