Heights History: Montague Street Revitalization 1976

In 1974,  the city received a $50,000 “City Options” grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to “produce designs that would improve city life”.    Proposals for urban revitalization were created by the New York Department of City Planning for four neighborhoods – Alexander Avenue in the Bronx, Union Square and Chinatown in Manhattan,  and Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights.   The report was released in 1976,  by Commissioner Victor Marrero (who has more recently been known as a Patriot Act fighting judge). untitled

A recent comment on BHB pointed us to the Montague Street study which is  chock full of photos and details of what the strip looked like in 1976.  It  also sheds light on some of the problems and suggested solutions which seem  to have a very familiar ring to them (Montague Summer Space anyone?).    Check out thePDF of the report and discuss your favorite parts below.  Note: it’s a big file so it’ll take about a minute to load but it’s worth it!

Montague Street 1976 plan by Brooklyn Heights Blog

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  • http://www.cigarettesandcoffee.com jeffk

    That PDF is stuck behind a WordPress password – can you move it to a publicly accessible folder? I’d love to check that out.

  • my2cents

    I actually reviewed this document once when i found a copy of it in a library in cambridge, MA!
    It’s very interesting, and points to the fact that there is always a need for improvement felt on Montague. The thing is, a lot of the ideas would have created problems i think. Like narrowing the street to widen the sidewalks. I think this would have snarled car and truck traffic fairly badly.

  • Raanan Geberer

    I couldn’t download the report because I need a “word press” password, whatever that is. Is there any other way to get it?

  • Homer Fink

    Fascinating… will check it… stand by.

  • Homer Fink
  • http://www.cigarettesandcoffee.com jeffk

    Yep, that link did it – thanks, Homer!

  • bornhere

    What a mother lode of nostalgia! Anyone else remember Estelle Charap?! The pictures are wonderful; but I have zero recollection of F&F Deli on Montague. Also a neat, Welcome Back, Kotter-esque picture of kids sitting on the mail boxes near the (old) Baskin-Robbins on Montague and Henry. It is really worth the time to enlarge/adjust the pictures for your viewing/memory-lane pleasure. (And I say this as I’m at work :)

  • anonymous

    I was a very small child when this report was released. Reading it (the lists of stores on Montague, the photos) was suprisingly moving.

    Great photo of the facade of the Cheese Shop!

  • AEB

    Fascinating! One wonders how the area’s demographics (the age range, for example) have changed, if at all.

    Interesting also that the “town and gown” conflict was very much such then as now.

    Would love to see such a study conducted today.

  • http://chucktaylorblog.blogspot.com/ Chuck Taylor

    fascinating… parking deck, green space… 30 years later, alas, still waiting. let’s just hope we someday get a park along the riverfront.