By David Caplan
Brooklyn Heights is an upscale residential community within the borough of Brooklyn in New York City. It is known for its beautiful brownstone row houses, most of which were built prior to the Civil War. Brooklyn Heights development can be traced back to 1814 when Robert Fulton began daily steam ferry service from Brooklyn to Manhattan. The Yellow Fever epidemic of 1822 sent many wealthy New Yorkers from Manhattan to Brooklyn because they were the only ones who could afford to leave. By 1860 over 600 houses had been built in the “Heights”.
Two major additions to the infrastructure of NYC were a major catalyst to the growth of Brooklyn Heights and the borough of Brooklyn. First was the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883 and what proved to be the largest impact, the arrival of the Lexington Avenue Subway line in 1908.
Brooklyn did not actually become part of NYC until 1898 in what was called the “Great Consolidation,” so to many, Brooklyn Heights was America’s first suburb.
Brooklyn Heights has had its share of famous residents including Truman Capote, Arthur Miller, Walt Whitman, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker and Mary Tyler Moore. Brooklyn Heights was also home to the Patty Duke Show in the 60’s and the fictional home to the Huxtables from the super hit show The Cosby’s from 1984 to 1992. In 1965 Brooklyn Heights became the first neighborhood to be protected by the NYC Landmark Preservation Law. This new law would protect many of NYC’s most precious landmarks and buildings from future demolition and development where profit is the sole motivator.
If you want to check out the best views of Brooklyn Heights jump on board a bright yellow New York Water Taxi. Sit back, have a drink, relax and sail through history.
Last week’s trivia answer: Gracie Mansion is at 88th St and East End Ave.
Last week’s mystery photo: Frozen bike from winter 2015