Martin Schneider’s Battling for Brooklyn Heights Now Available

BHB photo by C. Scales

Heights preservation pioneer, Brooklyn Heights Association board member, and BHB reader and commenter Martin L. Schneider’s illustrated memoir of the struggle to preserve and improve our neighborhood, Battling for Brooklyn Heights, has been published. The Eagle’s Henrik Krogius writes that Schneider’s “vivid history”, which includes the campaign to stop Robert Moses from putting the BQE through the heart of the Heights, the advocacy that led to the Heights’ being designated New York City’s first historic district, and later events such as the effort to improve P.S. 8, is one that “most fittingly caps the centennial year celebration of the Brooklyn Heights Association”.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle: Where Schneider is especially good is on the two battles with Moses over his plans to raze both the northeast Heights section and Willowtown in the southwest Heights for high-rise complexes. On Willowtown, Moses was stopped, but in the northeast the conflict ended with a compromise over the Cadman Plaza housing. The worst was avoided: a mammoth, federally subsidized building that “called for 64% of its apartments – all high rent – to be efficiencies and one-bedroom units, not the housing the Heights was looking for, at all.” This “dormitory for transients” was replaced by the Cadman towers co-ops we see there today, with provision for moderate-income accommodation and family-size units.

The book is available at the Brooklyn Historical Society, Clinton and Pierrepont Streets, or through their website.

Update: Battling for Brooklyn Heights is now available at BookCourt, 163 Court Street (between Pacific & Dean).

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  • A Neighbor

    It’s a great story. It makes you appreciate what people have gone through to create the neighborhood. Also a reminder to keep an eye on developers and our ‘friends’ in government.