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See A Century of Change in Brooklyn Heights, NYC's First Historic District

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The entrance to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, circa 1976. Photo via the MCNY Digital Collection.

On November 23, 1965, Brooklyn Heights officially became New York City's first historic district, as named by the then brand-new Landmarks Preservation Commission. The neighborhood's landmark status was the result of a decades-long fight between neighborhood boosters, who wanted to preserve the area's low-slung homes and historic charm, and civic officials (well, okay, Robert Moses), who pushed for more development. The boosters eventually won: In its official statement (PDF warning!), the LPC called Brooklyn Heights "a neighborhood of rare charm and historic significance," citing its varied architectural styles, "stately brick and brownstone townhouses," and its "special historical and aesthetic interest and value." And even though it's been 50 years since that designation was handed down, many of Brooklyn Heights's most beloved landmarks—Plymouth Church, the Low Mansion on Pierrepont Street, the Brooklyn Historical Society building—remain. To see how the neighborhood has changed over the better part of a century, keep scrolling for historic images of the 'hood, courtesy the archives of the Museum of the City of New York and the Brooklyn Historical Society.


· How Brooklyn Heights Became the City's First Historic District [Curbed]