Now more that ever, Brooklyn Heights is a prime tourist destination for new visitors, seasoned travellers and residents of the Tri-State area.
Here’s a primer.
Brooklyn is My Neighborhood a short video by Brooklyn Heights preservationist Martin L. Schneider. Read more about it here.
The Brooklyn Heights Promenade
Hatched as a compromise between the neighborhood and New York’s master builder Robert Moses, the Brooklyn Heights Promenade opened to the public in October 1950.
The 1,826 foot long span is not only a testament to the tenacity of the Brooklyn Heights Association but also an homage to Hezekiah Pierrepont’s 1820s vision of a vista point in Brooklyn to rival Manhattan’s Battery. The site of Pierrpont’s home “Four Chimneys” is now marked by a plaque at the Montague Street entrance to the Promenade.
The Promenade offers the most spectacular views of the New York City skyline. There are many comfortable benches to sit on and enjoy the view. Kids can play at the wonderful playground located at the Montague Street entrance.
The Hotel St. George
Now part coop apartments and part student housing the Hotel St. George on Clark Street between Hicks and Henry Streets was once the largest hotel in New York City. It also once housed a luxurious salt water pool — the largest in the world.
Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims 75 Hicks Street
70 Willow Street, Adrian van Sinderen residence
Built in the late 1830s, this home is one of the largest remaining Greek Revival style houses in New York. Its original occupant was a prominent attorney. When it was the home of 8 time Tony Award winning scenic designer Oliver Smith, Truman Capote lived here in the basement apartment. The author wrote his masterworks Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood there as well as his short story about the neighborhood, A House on the Heights. Tony Award winning director Tyrone Guthrie lived on the top floor for several years as well. You can also spend the night there.
142 Columbia Heights
Another of America’s greatest authors, Norman Mailer, lives around the corner from Capote’s former digs. Mailer and Capote were neighbors for a time and folklore says the two hated each other. The Naked and the Dead writer occupied the building’s top 3 floors until his death in 2007.
102 Pierrepont Street
Mailer also lived here at this Heights hotbed of literary luminaries. Arthur Miller, writer of Death of a Salesman, lived here from 1944 – 1947. He wrote his breakthrough play All My Sons here. Mailer later wrote a biography of Miller’s famous wife, Marilyn Monroe.
62 Montague Street
Miller lived here and at 31 Grace Court where he finished Death of a Salesman. BHB Reader Ruth Nordenbrook suggests this timeline of Miller’s Brooklyn Heights History:
1938- Moved to Brooklyn to work on the Federal Theatre Project @ Brklyn Navy Yard
1940 -62 Montague = 1st home in BH [Married Mary Grace Slattery & moved to 62]
1944-47–Lived @ 102 Pierrepont Street; wrote All My Sons here
1947- AM bought 31 Grace Court, where he completed Death of a Salesman
1951 -bought 155 Willow St./ sold 31 Grace Court to WEB DuBois who lived there ‘51-‘61
82 Pierrepont Street Herman Behr residence
Wealthy industrialist Herman Behr commissioned architect Frank Freeman to build New York City’s finest Romanesque Revival house. Now apartments, this storied building has been many things including a brothel, the Palm Hotel and Franciscan House of Studies.
24 Middagh Street Eugene Boisselet residence
This c.1824 Federal Style woodframe house is typical of the early days of Brooklyn Heights.
3 Pierrepont Place A.A. Low residence
Built for New York Chamber of Commerce President and king of 19th century China trade, Abiel Abbot Low. His son, Seth, grew up to be mayor of Brooklyn, mayor New York City and president of Columbia University. The home appeared as the “Godfather’s” residence in the film Prizzi’s Honor.
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