History

 

1913

The building housing our shop has an interesting history. It was constructed in 1913 to house the first purpose built ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ) in Brooklyn. The Society was very popular with Brooklyn’s philanthropists, so when they needed a larger building, they were fortunate enough to receive generous donations towards a new facility that would enable them to take care of Brooklyn’s abused and abandoned animals.


233 Butler st. c.1913

233 Butler st. c.1913

 
 
Still visible over the front entrance is a hand-engraved plaque depicting a horse being beaten by a coach driver as an angel intervenes.

Still visible over the front entrance is a hand-engraved plaque depicting a horse being beaten by a coach driver as an angel intervenes.

 

The Society engaged the services of the architectural firm of Renwick, Aspinwall & Tucker. The firm designed several of Manhattan’s most impressive early skyscrapers, including the landmarked American Express Building at 65 Broadway. For 66 years, pet adoptions took place here, and Brooklynites could also report animal abuse and turn in abandoned animals. Today we continue this tradition by adopting and caring for musical instruments.

 

1983


 Retrofret Vintage Guitars began with owner and head luthier, Steven Uhrik's early fascination with electronics and the technology behind musical instruments.  Over the years, the business grew and took off in unexpected ways. "Clients would come in and ask me to help sell their old instruments that they had locked in a safe, and sometimes I would buy a piece to refurbish and resell," Uhrik recalled. "By the 1990s I was aquiring instruments to repair, and started displaying some of them."

Retrofret owner, Steven Uhrik right, making the first sale in 1983.

Retrofret owner, Steven Uhrik right, making the first sale in 1983.