Brooklyn Heights

Photos by Paul Frangipane

An international attraction for not only Brooklyn, but New York City is the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. Built as a response to the controversially constructed Brooklyn-Queens Expressway below, the promenade offers sweeping views of lower Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge and non-stop boat traffic along the East River.

The Brooklyn Heights Association called for construction of the promenade after power broker Robert Moses pushed for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to run through Brooklyn Heights, demolishing rows of homes by the end of its construction in 1957. The highway is now in crippling condition and its repair has become a political bone of contention for New York politicians.

Walk onto the promenade on the right day and your stroll will be greeted with a soundtrack from any number of independent musicians.

A little girl looks back at her father with a view of the Empire State Building and Brooklyn Bridge showing behind her.

Several species of colorful plants make up the Promenade Garden, a 1,826-foot-long green space that borders the walkway and is maintained by more than 40 volunteers.

A family strolls down Montague Street, the Heights’ main street filled with local businesses and historical buildings.

A pop-up pool sits in Brooklyn Bridge Park, a revived space that’s now visited by thousands of tourists a day.

Columbia Heights was co-named Emily Warren Roebling Way in May 2018 after the woman responsible for completing construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. After falling ill, her husband Washington Roebling watched the bridge’s construction from his home, which was demolished for construction of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

Pineapple Street, Cranberry and Orange are odd names out in a neighborhood otherwise filled with streets honoring historical figures. There’s no widely-accepted record of how the names came to be. One story suggests produce stands set up by the Hicks brothers attracted the names, but a possibly more entertaining tale is of Lady Middagh, who legend has it became irritated at pompous residents naming streets after themselves and replaced the names in the night with random fruits. Nearby however, is of course Middagh Street.

The pre-Civil War Plymouth Church has a rich history that included a visit from President Abraham Lincoln and runaway slaves passing through its basement as a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Plymouth Church garden showcases a statue of its founding pastor Henry Ward Beecher.

Squibb Park, named after Dr. Edward Robinson Squibb, looks bare at the moment, but it will soon be home to a permanent swimming pool. The park reopened in 2017 after years of repair.

Squibb Park Bridge is a bouncy wooden walkway that connects upper Brooklyn Heights to Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The contested One Brooklyn Bridge Park Hotel stands at the far end of the park with a rooftop bar that can be seen from the walkway of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The Watch Tower building, best known for adding a neon red “Watchtower” sign to the Brooklyn skyline, was stripped of its display when the Jehovah’s Witnesses sold the building to Kushner Companies.

The Eagle Warehouse and Storage Company Building was built over the space of the former Brooklyn Eagle newspaper office in 1893, incorporating the paper’s old press room into construction.

The old Fulton Landing area is now a popular spot for local residents and tourists alike to enjoy the waterfront views.

The popular River Café, opened in 1977 in what was then a desolate neighborhood, has become an international success with a Michelin Star.

A little boy runs in circles on the dock.

The Hotel St. George, once the largest hotel in New York City, was visited by public figures like Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman, Duke Ellington and Truman Capote. It now operates as the entrance of the Clark Street subway station.

The physical location of the Brooklyn Heights Association at 55 Pierrepoint St. The group, founded in 1910 as one of the oldest civic associations in the country, has historically been responsible for fighting to preserve the neighborhood’s historic look and culture.

The Brooklyn Historical society is aptly located in Brooklyn Heights, as the neighborhood was deemed the first in the city to be designated as both a historic district and a national landmark in 1965.

St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church on Montague and Clinton streets has been active since 1847, known for displaying the first stained glass window made in America.

The Hotel Bossert, dating back to 1909, is in the process of being restored with a rooftop bar and a restaurant, but delays have made its completion date uncertain.

St. Francis College on Remsen Street is the oldest Catholic school in Brooklyn, founded in 1859.

A temporary Brooklyn Heights library has been housed in Our Lady of Lebanon Church since 2016 after the branch library was demolished for a high-rise condominium tower that will eventually hold the permanent library.

Brooklyn Heights is filled with narrow side roads like Hunts Lane.

Colorful old-style doors make up the front of this Hunts Lane building

The sun shines through the leaves of trees that line much of the neighborhood, giving the streets an airy feeling.

Two residential towers rise on Pier 6 of Brooklyn Bridge Park, despite a legal battle from the Brooklyn Heights Association.

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