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Brooklyn Heights

Coordinates: 40°41′46″N 73°59′42″W / 40.696°N 73.995°W / 40.696; -73.995
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Brooklyn Heights
Townhouses in Brooklyn Heights
Townhouses in Brooklyn Heights
Location in New York City
Coordinates: 40°41′46″N 73°59′42″W / 40.696°N 73.995°W / 40.696; -73.995
Country United States
State New York
CityNew York City
Community DistrictBrooklyn 2[1]
 • Total0.320 sq mi (0.83 km2)
 • Total25,092
 • Density78,000/sq mi (30,000/km2)
 • White75.2%
 • Asian8.8%
 • Hispanic7.3%
 • Black5.5%
 • Others3.1%
 • Median income$119,999
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
Area code718, 347, 929, and 917

Brooklyn Heights is a residential neighborhood within the New York City borough of Brooklyn. The neighborhood is bounded by Old Fulton Street near the Brooklyn Bridge on the north, Cadman Plaza West on the east, Atlantic Avenue on the south, and the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway or the East River on the west.[5] Adjacent neighborhoods are Dumbo to the north, Downtown Brooklyn to the east, and Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill to the south.

Originally referred to as Brooklyn Village, it has been a prominent area of Brooklyn since 1834. The neighborhood is noted for its low-rise architecture and its many brownstone rowhouses, most of them built prior to the Civil War. It also has an abundance of notable churches and other religious institutions. Brooklyn's first art gallery, the Brooklyn Arts Gallery, was opened in Brooklyn Heights in 1958.[6] In 1965, a large part of Brooklyn Heights was protected from unchecked development by the creation of the Brooklyn Heights Historic District, the first such district in New York City. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.

Directly across the East River from Manhattan and connected to it by subways and regular ferry service, Brooklyn Heights is also easily accessible from Downtown Brooklyn. Columbia Heights, an upscale six-block-long street next to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade,[7] is sometimes considered to be its own neighborhood.

Brooklyn Heights is part of Brooklyn Community District 2, and its primary ZIP Code is 11201.[1] It is patrolled by the 84th Precinct of the New York City Police Department.[8] The New York City Fire Department operates two fire stations near Brooklyn Heights: Engine Company 205/Ladder Company 118 at 74 Middagh Street, and Engine Company 224 at 274 Hicks Street.[9]


Early settlement[edit]

The view of New York City from Brooklyn Heights, (1778 – c. 1880)
Brooklyn Heights in 1854

Brooklyn Heights occupies a plateau on a high bluff that rises sharply from the river's edge and gradually recedes on the landward side. Before the Dutch settled on Long Island in the middle of the seventeenth century, this promontory was called Ihpetonga ("the high sandy bank") by the native Lenape American Indians.[10]

Ferries across the East River were running as early as 1642, serving the farms in the area. The most significant of the ferries went between the current Fulton Street and Peck Slip in Manhattan, and was run by Cornelius Dirksen. The ferry service helped the lowland area to thrive, with both farms and some factories along the water, but the higher ground was sparsely used.[5]

The area was heavily fortified prior to the Battle of Long Island in the American Revolutionary War. After British troops landed on Long Island and advanced towards Continental Army lines, General George Washington withdrew his troops here after heavy losses, but was able to make a skillful retreat across the East River to Manhattan without the loss of any troops or his remaining supplies.

After the war, the 160-acre tract of land belonging to John Rapeljie, who was a Loyalist, was confiscated and sold to the Sands brothers, who tried to develop the part of the land on the palisade as a community they called "Olympia", but failed to make it come about, partly because of the difficulty of building there. They later sold part of their land to John Jackson, who created the Vinegar Hill community, much of which later became the Brooklyn Navy Yard.[11]


Brooklyn Heights began to develop once Robert Fulton's New York and Brooklyn Steam Ferry Boat Company began regularly scheduled steam ferry service in 1814, with the financial backing of Hezekiah Beers Pierrepont, one of the area's major landowners.[12] Pierrepont had accumulated 60 acres of land, including 800 feet which directly overlooked the harbor, all of which he planned to sub-divide. Since his intention was to sell to merchants and bankers who lived in Manhattan, he needed easy access between Brooklyn Heights and New York City, which Fulton's company provided.[13] Pierrepont bought 60 acres (24 ha) – part of the Livingston estate, plus the Benson, De Bevoise and Reemsen farms[14] – on what was then called "Clover Hill", now Brooklyn Heights, and built a mansion there.[5] Pierrepont purchased and expanded Philip Livingston's gin distillery on the East River at what is now Joralemon Street, where he produced Anchor Gin.

A street in Brooklyn Heights on a fall afternoon

Wishing to sub-divide and develop his property, Pierrepont realized the need for regularly scheduled ferry service across the East River, and to this end he became a prominent investor in Robert Fulton's New York and Brooklyn Steam Ferry Boat Company, using his influence on Fulton's behalf; he eventually became a part owner and a director of the company.[citation needed] Fulton's ferry began running in 1814, and Brooklyn received a charter as a village from the state of New York in 1816, thanks to the influence of Pierrepont and other prominent landowners.[12] The city then prepared for the establishment of a street grid, although there were competing plans for the size of the lots. John and Jacob Hicks, who also owned property on Brooklyn Heights, north of Pierrepont's, favored smaller lots, as they were pitching their land to tradesman and artisans already living in Brooklyn, not attempting to lure merchants and bankers from Manhattan as Pierrepont was. To counter the Hickses' proposal, Pierrepont hired a surveyor and submitted an alternative. In the end, the Hickses' plan was adopted north of Clark Street, and Pierrepont's, featuring 25-by-100 foot (8-by-30 meter) lots, south of it.[citation needed]

Thanks to the influence of Pierrepont and other landowners, Brooklyn received a charter from the state as a village in 1816, which led to streets being laid out in a regular grid pattern, sidewalks being laid, water pumps being installed and the institution of a watch.[13] After 1823, farms begin to be sub-divided into 25-by-100-foot (7.6 by 30.5 m) lots, which were advertised as suitable for a "country retreat" for Manhattanites, leading to a building boom that resulted in Brooklyn Heights becoming the "first commuter suburb",[5][14] since it was easier and faster to get to Manhattan by ferry than it was to commute from upper Manhattan by ground transportation.[12] A resident of the Heights could leave the office at three o'clock, have dinner at home at four o'clock, and still have time for a "leisurely drive to the outskirts of town", a "middle class paradise".[15] The community's development was helped by the yellow fever epidemic of 1822, when many of the rich from the city abandoned it for an area that was advertised as "elevated and perfectly healthy at all seasons ... a select neighborhood and circle of society."[13]

Where there had been only seven houses in the Heights in 1807,[12] by 1860 there were over six hundred of them,[16] and by 1890 the area was almost completely developed.[12] The buildings were designed in a wide variety of styles; development started in the northern part, and moved southward, so the architecture general changes in that direction as the preferred style of the time changed over the decades.[9] Throughout the 19th century, Brooklyn Heights remained an elegant neighborhood,[5] and became Brooklyn's cultural and financial center.[9] Its development gave rise to offshoots such as Cobble Hill and, later, Carroll Gardens.[17]

Prior to the Civil War, Brooklyn Heights was a locus of the Abolitionist movement, due to the speeches and activities of Henry Ward Beecher, the pastor of Plymouth Church, now the Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims. Beecher was a nationally known figure famous on the lecture circuit for his novel oratorical style, in which he employed humor, dialect, and slang. Under Beecher, so many slaves passed through Plymouth Church on their way to freedom in Canada that later generations have referred to the church as the "Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad". To dramatize the plight of those held in captivity, Beecher once brought a female slave to the church and held an auction, with the highest bidder purchasing not the slave, but her freedom. Beecher also raised money to buy other slaves out of captivity, and shipped rifles to abolitionists in Kansas and Nebraska in crates labelled "Bibles", which gave the rifles the nickname "Beecher's Bibles".[9]

20th century[edit]

The Brooklyn Heights Promenade

The completion of the now historic Brooklyn Bridge in 1883, the Brooklyn end of which was near Brooklyn Heights' eastern boundary, began the process of making the neighborhood more accessible from places such as Manhattan. The Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT)'s Lexington Avenue subway line, which reached Brooklyn Heights in 1908, was an even more powerful catalyst in the neighborhood's development. The resulting ease of transportation into the neighborhood and the perceived loss of the specialness and "quality" began to drive out the merchants and patricians who lived there; in time their mansions were divided to become apartment houses and boarding houses. Artists began to move into the neighborhood, as well as writers, and a number of large hotels – the St. George (1885), the Margaret (1889), the Bossert (1909), Leverich Towers (1928), and the Pierrepont (1928), among others[9][12] – were constructed. By the beginning of the Great Depression, most of the middle class had left the area. Boarding houses had become rooming houses, and the neighborhood began to have the appearance of a slum.[5][9]

During the 1940s and 1950s, the building of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) badly affected the neighborhood, as it took away the neighborhood's northwest corner, destroying whole rows of brownstones.[9] At about the same time, plans began to be developed by New York's "master builder", Robert Moses, wielding the Housing Act of 1949,[16] to replace brownstone rowhouses – which were the typical building form in the neighborhood – with large luxury apartment buildings.[5] A prominent example of the intended outcome is the Cadman Plaza development of housing cooperatives in the northern part of the neighborhood, located on the site where the Brooklyn Bridge trolley terminal once stood.[9] In 1959, the North Heights Community Group was formed to oppose destroying cheap low-rise housing in order to build the high-rise Cadman Plaza towers. Architect Percival Goodman presented an alternate plan to maintain all sound structures, which garnered 25,000 supporters. In early 1961, a compromise proposal came from City Hall calling for two 22-story towers with over 1,200 luxury and middle income units. The Brooklyn Heights Association fully supported the compromise plan despite strong opposition from the preservation community, including the North Heights Community Group. As a result, 1,200 residents were removed from their houses and apartments in late 1961 and early 1962 as construction began on the modified plan.[18][19]

One positive development came about when community groups – prominently the Brooklyn Heights Association, founded in 1910[9] – joined with Moses in the creation of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, also called the Esplanade, which was cantilevered over the BQE. It became a favorite spot among locals, offering magnificent vistas of the Statue of Liberty, the Manhattan skyline across the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, and spectacular fireworks displays over the East River. Moses originally proposed to build the BQE through the heart of Brooklyn Heights. Opposition to this plan led to the re-routing of the expressway to the side of the bluff, allowing creation of the Promenade.[20]

By the mid-1950s, a new generation of property owners had begun moving into the Heights, pioneering the "Brownstone Revival" by buying and renovating pre-Civil War period houses, which became part of the preservationist movement which culminated in the passage in 1965 of the Landmarks Preservation Law.[21] In 1965, community groups which later became the Brooklyn Heights Association, succeeded in having the neighborhood designated the Brooklyn Heights Historic District by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, the first such district in the city. This was followed in the following decades by the further gentrification of the neighborhood into a firmly middle-class area, which became "one of New York City's most pleasant and attractive neighborhoods."[5]

21st century[edit]

Starting in 2008, Brooklyn Bridge Park was built along the shoreline of the East River.[22] As of 2018 the park was 90% complete,[23] and it is now completely renovated.[24] The Squibb Park Bridge was constructed in 2013 to provide access between the park and the rest of Brooklyn Heights, but had to be demolished in 2019 due to various structural issues.[25] A replacement bridge opened in 2020.[26] By the early 2020s, increasing numbers of celebrities were moving to the neighborhood.[27]

Architecture and places of interest[edit]

The Center for Brooklyn History on the corner of Pierrepont and Clinton streets
The Center for Brooklyn History (formerly the Brooklyn Historical Society), 128 Pierrepont Street on the corner of Clinton Street, founded by Henry Pierrepont in 1863 as the "Long Island Historical Society". The building was constructed in 1878-81 and was designed by George B. Post.

Brooklyn Heights was the first neighborhood protected by the 1965 Landmarks Preservation Law of New York City. The neighborhood is largely composed of blocks of picturesque rowhouses and a few mansions. A great range of architectural styles is represented, including Greek Revival, Italianate, Second Empire, Victorian Gothic, Romanesque, Neo-Grec, and Classical Revival, as well as a few 2/1/2-story late Federal houses from the early 19th century in the northern part of the neighborhood.[28] Some houses were constructed of brick, but the dominant building material was brownstone or "Jersey freestone", a reddish-brown stone from Passaic County, New Jersey.[16]

A typical brownstone rowhouse was three or four stories tall, with the main floor above the street level and reached by stairs, referred to as a "stoop", a word derived from Dutch. The basement is typically a half-flight down from the street, and was used as the work area for servants, including the kitchen. The first floor would be the location of the public rooms, bedrooms were on the second floor, and servants' quarters were on the top floor. The rear of the lot would feature a private garden.[16] Aside from rowhouses, a number of houses, particularly along Pierrepont Street and Pierrepont Place, are authentic mansions.

The concentration of over 600 pre-Civil War houses, one of the largest ensembles of such housing in the nation, and the human scale of the three, four- and five-story buildings creates a neighborly atmosphere.

Brooklyn Heights has very few high-rise buildings. Among these buildings are 75 Livingston Street, Hotel St. George, and the Concord Village co-op development on Adams Street. Additionally, Jehovah's Witnesses had its world headquarters in the northern part of Brooklyn Heights at 25 Columbia Heights. The organization restored a number of historic buildings to house their staff, including the former Hotel Bossert, once the seasonal home of many Dodgers players, on Montague Street. In 2010, the organization announced plans to begin selling off its numerous properties in the Heights and nearby downtown Brooklyn, given that it plans to relocate itself in upstate New York.[29]

The executive offices of the Brooklyn Dodgers were, for many years, located in the Heights, near the intersection of Montague and Court Streets. A plaque on the office building that replaced the Dodgers' old headquarters at 215 Montague Street identifies it as the site where Jackie Robinson signed his major league contract.[30]

Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims and Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Cathedral are located in Brooklyn Heights, as are the First Unitarian Congregational Society, the Long Island Historical Society, Packer Collegiate Institute, and St. Ann's and the Holy Trinity Church, among other historically notable buildings.[28] A number of bank buildings are concentrated on Montague Street, including the Brooklyn Trust Company Building, the People's Trust Building, and the National Title Guaranty Building.[12][28]


Historical population

Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of Brooklyn Heights was 22,887, a change of 339 (1.5%) from the 22,548 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 235.86 acres (95.45 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 97 inhabitants per acre (62,000/sq mi; 24,000/km2).[31] The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 75.2% (17,210) White, 5.5% (1,259) African American, 0.2% (37) Native American, 8.8% (2,003) Asian, 0% (3) Pacific Islander, 0.4% (82) from other races, and 2.7% (618) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.3% (1,675) of the population.[3]

The entirety of Community Board 2, which comprises Brooklyn Heights and Fort Greene, had 117,046 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 80.6 years.[32]: 2, 20  This is slightly lower than the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods.[33]: 53 (PDF p. 84) [34] Most inhabitants are middle-aged adults and youth: 15% are between the ages of 0–17, 44% between 25–44, and 20% between 45–64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 9% and 12% respectively.[32]: 2 

As of 2016, the median household income in Community Board 2 was $56,599.[35] In 2018, an estimated 22% of Brooklyn Heights and Fort Greene residents lived in poverty, compared to 21% in all of Brooklyn and 20% in all of New York City. One in twelve residents (8%) were unemployed, compared to 9% in the rest of both Brooklyn and New York City. Rent burden, or the percentage of residents who have difficulty paying their rent, is 39% in Brooklyn Heights and Fort Greene, lower than the citywide and boroughwide rates of 52% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018, Brooklyn Heights and Fort Greene are considered to be high-income relative to the rest of the city and not gentrifying.[32]: 7 

Police and crime[edit]

Brooklyn Heights is patrolled by the 84th Precinct of the NYPD, located at 301 Gold Street.[8] The 84th Precinct ranked 60th-safest out of 69 patrol areas for per-capita crime in 2010. This was attributed to a high rate of property crimes in the neighborhood.[36] As of 2018, with a non-fatal assault rate of 40 per 100,000 people, Brooklyn Heights and Fort Greene's rate of violent crimes per capita is less than that of the city as a whole. The incarceration rate of 401 per 100,000 people is lower than that of the city as a whole.[32]: 8 

The 84th Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 82.3% between 1990 and 2018. The precinct reported 2 murders, 18 rapes, 147 robberies, 184 felony assaults, 126 burglaries, 650 grand larcenies, and 31 grand larcenies auto in 2018.[37]

The firehouse for FDNY Engine Co. 205/Ladder Co. 118

Fire safety[edit]

Brooklyn Heights is served by two New York City Fire Department (FDNY) fire stations.[38][9] Engine Co. 205/Ladder Co. 118 is located at 74 Middagh Street, serving the northern part of the neighborhood,[39] while Engine Co. 224 is located at 274 Hicks Street, serving the southern part of the neighborhood.[40]

A third fire station, Engine Co. 207/Ladder Co. 110/Satellite 6/Battalion 31/Division 11, is located at 172 Tillary Street in nearby Fort Greene.[41][9]


As of 2018, preterm births and births to teenage mothers are less common in Brooklyn Heights and Fort Greene than in other places citywide. In Brooklyn Heights and Fort Greene, there were 74 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 11.6 births to teenage mothers per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide).[32]: 11  Brooklyn Heights and Fort Greene have a relatively low population of residents who are uninsured, or who receive healthcare through Medicaid.[42] In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated to be 4%, which is lower than the citywide rate of 12%. However, this estimate was based on a small sample size.[32]: 14 

The concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, in Brooklyn Heights and Fort Greene is 0.0088 milligrams per cubic metre (8.8×10−9 oz/cu ft), lower than the citywide and boroughwide averages.[32]: 9  Eleven percent of Brooklyn Heights and Fort Greene residents are smokers, which is slightly lower than the city average of 14% of residents being smokers.[32]: 13  In Brooklyn Heights and Fort Greene, 24% of residents are obese, 6% are diabetic, and 25% have high blood pressure—compared to the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively.[32]: 16  In addition, 14% of children are obese, compared to the citywide average of 20%.[32]: 12 

Eighty-eight percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is slightly higher than the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 86% of residents described their health as "good", "very good", or "excellent", more than the city's average of 78%.[32]: 13  For every supermarket in Brooklyn Heights and Fort Greene, there are 12 bodegas.[32]: 10 

Post offices and ZIP Code[edit]

Brooklyn Heights is covered by ZIP Code 11201.[43] The United States Post Office operates two locations nearby: the Cadman Plaza Station at 271 Cadman Plaza East,[44] and the DUMBO Automated Postal Center at 84 Front Street.[45]


Brooklyn Heights and Fort Greene generally have a higher ratio of college-educated residents than the rest of the city as of 2018. The majority of residents (64%) have a college education or higher, while 11% have less than a high school education and 25% are high school graduates or have some college education. By contrast, 40% of Brooklynites and 38% of city residents have a college education or higher.[32]: 6  The percentage of Brooklyn Heights and Fort Greene students excelling in math rose from 27 percent in 2000 to 50 percent in 2011, and reading achievement rose from 34% to 41% during the same time period.[46]

Brooklyn Heights and Fort Greene's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is about equal to the rest of New York City. In Brooklyn Heights and Fort Greene, 20% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, the same as the citywide average.[33]: 24 (PDF p. 55) [32]: 6  Additionally, 75% of high school students in Brooklyn Heights and Fort Greene graduate on time, equal to the citywide average.[32]: 6 


St. Ann's School, a K–12 school, is located in the neighborhood, with the main campus at 129 Pierrepont Street. Packer Collegiate Institute, a K–12 school, has also been located in the neighborhood, at 170 Joralemon Street, since its 1845 founding.

St. Francis College is located on Remsen Street and occupies half a city block. It was founded as St. Francis Academy in 1859 by the Franciscan Brothers and was originally located on Baltic Street. St. Francis College was the first private school in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn. As of 2010, 2,000 full-time students and more than 400 part-time students from 80 countries attend the College. St. Francis College has been ranked by The New York Times as one of the more diverse colleges in the United States.[47] The college has also been ranked by both Forbes magazine and U.S. News & World Report as one of the top baccalaureate colleges in the north.[48][49]

Brooklyn Heights is also the location of Brooklyn Law School, founded in 1901.

The former Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) Brooklyn Heights branch at 280 Cadman Plaza West, now demolished


The Brooklyn Public Library (BPL)'s Brooklyn Heights branch is located at 286 Cadman Plaza West.[50] The branch was formerly located at 280 Cadman Plaza West, which was shared with the Business & Career Library, but that site was sold to a developer and demolished.[51]

Brooklyn Heights' first library was founded in 1857 by the Mercantile Library Association of the City of Brooklyn. The first BPL branch in the neighborhood, the Montague Street branch, was opened in 1903. The Brooklyn Heights branch building at 280 Cadman Plaza West opened in 1962 and originally contained an auditorium and children's room. It was renovated and expanded from 1990 to 1993, and upon the completion of the renovation, the Brooklyn Heights branch shared the site with the Business & Career Library.[52] In 2013, BPL announced its intent to sell 280 Cadman Plaza West, and as part of this announcement, the Business and Career Library's functions were relocated to BPL's Central Branch.[53] BPL then sold the Brooklyn Heights branch to developer Hudson Companies.[54][55] Hudson Companies then demolished the structure and replaced it with a 34-story condominium, which now contains the smaller library at its base.[51] In the interim, the BPL branch moved to the temporary 109 Remsen Street location,[56] until the new location was completed in 2022.[57]


Brooklyn Heights is serviced by numerous subway services, specifically the A and ​C trains at High Street; the A, ​C​, F, <F>​​, N, R, and ​W trains at Jay Street–MetroTech; the 2 and ​3 trains at Clark Street; and the 2, ​3​, 4, ​5​, N, R, and ​W trains at Borough Hall/Court Street.[58]

Although no bus routes actually stop in Brooklyn Heights, many MTA Regional Bus Operations bus routes are located nearby in Downtown Brooklyn. The B25 also stops in Dumbo/Fulton Ferry, while the B61 and B63 serve Cobble Hill.[59]

In June 2017, NYC Ferry's South Brooklyn route started stopping at Brooklyn Bridge Park Piers 1 and 6 in Brooklyn Heights.[60][61]

Street names[edit]

Many of the streets in Brooklyn Heights are named after people who figured prominently in the neighborhood's history.[62]

Grace Court Alley, a mews converted into residences
The Heights Casino at 75 Montague Street, built in 1905 and designed by Boring & Tilton. Next to it, where the club's former outdoor tennis courts stood, is the Casino Mansion Apartments (1910, William A. Boring)[12]
  • Adams StreetJohn Adams, second President of the United States; originally named "Congress Street"
  • Aitken Place – Monsignor Ambrose Aitken of St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church
  • Cadman Plaza – Samuel Parkes Cadman, pastor of the Central Congregational Church
  • Clark Street – William Clark, ship's captain
  • Clinton StreetDeWitt Clinton, mayor of New York City, governor of New York state, three time Presidential candidate
  • College Place – named after the Brooklyn Collegiate Institute for Young Ladies (1829–1842); the building became the Mansion House Hotel in 1875
  • Court Street – renamed from "George Street" in 1835, even though there were no courts nearby
  • Doughty Street – Charles Doughty, 18th century lawyer, helped create the Village of Brooklyn
  • Elizabeth Place – Elizabeth Cornell, built the first Pierrepont mansion
  • Fulton Street, Old Fulton StreetRobert Fulton, introduced steam ferry service between Brooklyn Heights and Manhattan; Old Fulton Street was originally to have been named "Kings Highway", and Fulton Street was "Main Street"
  • Furman Street – William Furman, state legislator
  • Garden Place – originally part of Philip Livingston's garden
  • Grace Court, Grace Court Alley – named after Grace Church
  • Henry Street – Dr. Thomas Henry, president of the Kings County Medical Society
  • Hicks Street – John and Jacob Hicks, 17th century ferry operators
  • Hunts Lane – John Hunt, early purchaser of land from Hezekiah Pierrepont
  • Joralemon Street – Teunis Joralemon, saddle maker
  • Livingston StreetPhilip Livingston, the only signer of the Declaration of Independence who was from Brooklyn
  • Middagh Street – the Middaghs, a pre-Revolutionary War family
  • Monroe PlaceJames Monroe, fifth President of the United States; the widest street in Brooklyn Heights
  • Montague StreetLady Mary Wortley Montagu, English feminist and activist for smallpox inoculation, a member of the Pierrepont family; originally named "Constable Street" after Anna Marie Constable Pierrepoint
  • Pierrepont Street, Pierrepont PlaceHezekiah Pierrepont, the "founder" of Brooklyn Heights
  • Remsen Street – Henry Remsen, son of Ram Jensen Vanderbeeck, a 17th-century blacksmith
  • Schermerhorn Street – Peter and Andrew Schermerhorn, merchants and landowners
  • Sidney PlaceSir Philip Sidney; originally "Monroe Place" until 1853
  • Tillary Street – James Tillary, who worked on finding a cure for yellow fever

Concerning the "fruit streets" in Brooklyn Heights – Cranberry, Orange and Pineapple Streets – the WPA Guide to New York City reports that before the Civil War, these streets, along with Poplar and Willow Streets, were named after prominent families, but that a member of the Middagh family expressed her dislike of these families by replacing the street signs with botanical names. The city would restore the proper names, and Middagh would put back her own signs. Several iterations of this game ended when Middagh's new names were given official status by a resolution of the alderman.[10] In Historically Speaking, Brooklyn borough historian John B. Manbeck says only that these street names "have questionable origins", as does Love Lane, which reputedly gets its name from the meetings that took place there between a pretty girl who lived nearby and her suitors.[62]

Notable people[edit]

There have been many noted residents of Brooklyn Heights. The dates listed are their respective birth and death dates. Famous residents include:

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b "NYC Planning | Community Profiles". communityprofiles.planning.nyc.gov. New York City Department of City Planning. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  2. ^ "Census data Archived March 8, 2021, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b Table PL-P3A NTA: Total Population by Mutually Exclusive Race and Hispanic Origin - New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010 Archived June 10, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, Population Division - New York City Department of City Planning, March 29, 2011. Accessed June 14, 2016.
  4. ^ "Brooklyn Heights, New York neighborhood profile". City-Data. city-data.com. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Fletcher, Ellen. "Brooklyn Heights" in Jackson, Kenneth T., ed. (2010). The Encyclopedia of New York City (2nd ed.). New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-11465-2., pp.177-178
  6. ^ Walton, Richard J. (January 22, 1958) "One Painting Leads to Birth of Gallery". New York World-Telegram
  7. ^ Weichselbaum, Simone. "It's Brooklyn's $10 million street: Brooklyn Heights strip boasts homes with eight-figure prices" Archived February 13, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, New York Daily News (February 7, 2012)
  8. ^ a b "NYPD – 84th Precinct". www.nyc.gov. New York City Police Department. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Jackson, Kenneth T.; Manbeck, John B., eds. (2004). The Neighborhoods of Brooklyn (2nd ed.). New Haven, Connecticut: Citizens for NYC and Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-10310-7., pp.34–39
  10. ^ a b c d Federal Writers' Project (1939). New York City Guide. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-1-60354-055-1. (Reprinted by Scholarly Press, 1976; often referred to as WPA Guide to New York City.), pp. 442-47
  11. ^ Manbeck (2008), pp.99–102
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h White, Norval; Willensky, Elliot; Leadon, Fran (2010). AIA Guide to New York City (5th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 591–610. ISBN 978-0-19538-386-7.
  13. ^ a b c Burroughs & Wallace (1999), pp.450-51
  14. ^ a b Rizzo, Joanna. "Pierrepont: Seeing great potential across the river in Brooklyn" Archived February 14, 2015, at the Wayback Machine The Real Deal (July 30, 2008)
  15. ^ Burroughs & Wallace (1999), p.972
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i Manbeck (2008), pp.95-99
  17. ^ Burroughs & Wallace (1999), p.933
  18. ^ Salzman, Lorna. "Brooklyn Heights Blows It," Brooklyn Rail (July–August 2015), pp.28–29
  19. ^ Osman, Suleiman. (2011) The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn: Gentrification and the Search for Authenticity in Postwar New York New York: Oxford University Press. p.150 ISBN 0195387317
  20. ^ Krogius, Henrik. The Brooklyn Heights Promenade Charleston, South Carolina: The History Press, 2011. ISBN 1609495292
  21. ^ See Schneider, Martin L. Battling for Brooklyn Heights: The Fight for New York's First Historic District Brooklyn, New York: Brooklyn Heights Press, 2010; and Schneider, Martin L. and Junkersfeld, Karl. "Brooklyn Is My Neighborhood: The Story of New York's First Historic District" (video) Archived July 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Brooklyn, New York: Brooklyn Heights Press, 2010
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  87. ^ Pace, Eric. "From a Pizza by Land to Fillet of Beef by Sea", The New York Times, May 25, 1983. Accessed May 23, 2024. "Mr. Everdell and his wife, Barbara - she teaches Latin and other subjects at St. Ann's - consulted their sons, 11-year-old Josh and 8-year-old Chris, and decided to stay at home, inviting a few friends to join them in watching the fireworks from the one window in their Montague Terrace apartment that has a view of the bridge. The window is only big enough for two spectators at a time."
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  95. ^ Deitz, Paula. "Alice Ireys, 89, Dies; Designed Elegant Landscapes Bridging Traditions" Archived August 6, 2020, at the Wayback Machine, The New York Times, December 17, 2000. Accessed August 24, 2020. "Born in Brooklyn on April 24, 1911, as Alice Recknagel, Mrs. Ireys lived all her life in the Brooklyn Heights town house occupied since 1835 by five generations of her family."
  96. ^ Douglas, Martin. "Clay Lancaster Is Dead at 83; Historic Preservation Pioneer" Archived December 20, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, The New York Times, February 9, 2001. Accessed August 24, 2020. "Mr. Lancaster moved to Brooklyn Heights after finishing his studies. He lectured at Columbia and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among other places, and was curator of Prospect Park in the mid-1960's."
  97. ^ Richardson, Lynda. "PUBLIC LIVES; A Firm New Boss at an Old Voice of the Left", The New York Times, January 17, 2001. Accessed May 10, 2023. "Ms. Leid, who is single and lives in Brooklyn Heights, has always been drawn to nonmainstream news media."
  98. ^ Kan, Elianna. "My Lost Poet" Archived August 8, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, The Paris Review, February 23, 2015. Accessed January 17, 2019. "In the spring of 2012, Philip Levine delivered a lecture at the Library of Congress called “My Lost Poets,” marking the end of his tenure as the eighteenth U.S. poet laureate.... I arrived at his home on Willow Street in Brooklyn Heights just as he and his wife, Franny, were finishing lunch."
  99. ^ Rose, Joel. "New York's Next Mayor, Bound To Be A Brooklynite" Archived January 7, 2019, at the Wayback Machine, WNPR, September 21, 2013. Accessed January 6, 2019. "On Thursday, Republican candidate Joe Lhota shook hands with voters pouring out of the subway a few blocks from his home in Brooklyn Heights."
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  102. ^ "H. P. Lovecraft's Brooklyn Heights Home" Archived January 19, 2019, at the Wayback Machine, Poets & Writers. Accessed January 17, 2019. "Novelist H. P. Lovecraft moved to the first-floor apartment at 169 Clinton Street in 1925 after separating from his wife Sonia Greene."
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  109. ^ Plitt, Amy. "Director Errol Morris lists his lovely Brooklyn Heights duplex for $2M; The duplex, located in a 19th-century townhouse, has quite the artistic pedigree" Archived January 19, 2019, at the Wayback Machine, Curbed New York, August 5, 2016. Accessed January 17, 2019. "The listing for this Brooklyn Heights co-op touts that it was "once owned by an important artist," but it's unclear if the broker is referring to its former occupant, Nobel Prize-winner and former Poet Laureate Joseph Brodsky, or the current seller: director Errol Morris, the mind behind such films as The Thin Blue Line, The Fog of War, and Standard Operating Procedure."
  110. ^ Morris, Bob. "Mary-Louise Parker on Life With and Without Men" Archived January 7, 2019, at the Wayback Machine, The New York Times, November 15, 2015. Accessed January 6, 2018. "The other day in the Brooklyn Heights duplex Mary-Louise Parker shares with her two children and Mrs. Roosevelt, a cocker spaniel in a red diaper, the actress was stroking one of the oyster shells she keeps in a bowl in her living room."
  111. ^ Gates, Anita. "Suzanne Pleshette, Actress, Dies at 70" Archived November 1, 2020, at the Wayback Machine, The New York Times, January 21, 2008. Accessed January 18, 2020. "Suzanne Pleshette was born Jan. 31, 1937, in Brooklyn Heights, to Eugene Pleshette, who managed the Paramount and Brooklyn Paramount theaters, and Gloria Kaplan Pleshette, a former dancer."
  112. ^ Podhoretz, John. "What I Recall About Jersey and 9/11", Commentary, November 23, 2015. Accessed May 10, 2023. "I was living in Brooklyn Heights. I was working as a columnist for the New York Post. I usually worked at home but in the weeks after the attack I came into the office."
  113. ^ Grimes, William. "James Purdy, a Literary Outsider With a Piercing Vision, Is Dead at 94" Archived July 9, 2020, at the Wayback Machine, The New York Times, March 13, 2009. Accessed August 24, 2020. "James Purdy, whose dark, often savagely comic fiction evoked an American psychic landscape of deluded innocence, sexual obsession, violence and isolation, died on Friday in Englewood, N.J. He was 94 and lived in Brooklyn Heights."
  114. ^ Kelly, Brendan. "Heavy Montréal: Marky Ramone pays tribute to his fallen brothers with Blitzkrieg" Archived January 7, 2019, at the Wayback Machine, Montreal Gazette, August 5, 2015. Accessed January 6, 2019. "On the phone from his home in Brooklyn Heights this week, Marky said he knew the band had it from the very first time he saw them at the Manhattan punk hot spot CBGB in 1974."
  115. ^ Lohrer, Fred E. "John A. Roebling, II (1867–1952), Builder of the Red Hill Estate (1929–1941), Lake Placid, Florida" Archived April 2, 2018, at the Wayback Machine, Archbold Biological Station, October 2, 2006, last updated July 17, 2017. Accessed October 24, 2018.
  116. ^ Halbfinger, David M. "Theodore Roosevelt IV Opts Out of G.O.P. Race for Senate", The New York Times, November 24, 2009. Accessed May 10, 2023. "Calling himself a “liberal Republican,” Mr. Roosevelt, 66, a former chairman of the League of Conservation Voters who lives in Brooklyn Heights, spoke harshly on Tuesday about the party’s conservative national leadership and lamented that the state Republican organization was a 'series of fiefdoms,' though he said he was confident that he could have won the nomination."
  117. ^ Price, Lydia. "Keri Russell & Matthew Rhys: Inside Their Love Story" Archived July 2, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, People, January 16, 2016. Accessed June 20, 2017. "Evidence began to pile up in favor of the former when the twosome was spotted walking around Russell's neighborhood in Brooklyn Heights a few days before Christmas 2013."
  118. ^ Robinson, Kara Mayer. "Away From The Office, and the Drama", The New York Times, October 31, 2014. Accessed March 19, 2024. "On Sundays she gets in touch with her playful side in Brooklyn Heights, where she lives with her husband, Eric Slovin, 47, a comedy writer and a producer on the television series Broad City, and their 5-year-old daughter."
  119. ^ "The Story Behind the Story...", The Modesto Bee, August 11, 1987. Accessed March 19, 2024. "Tell me something about Mia Sara who recently starred In the TV miniseries Queenie. What else has she been In? CT Maui, Hawaii. She's 19, from Brooklyn Heights, N.Y., and has been acting since the age of 14 when her mother, a photographer's stylist, sent her photo around to various agents."
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  122. ^ Anderson, Jack. "Oliver Smith, Set Designer, Dead at 75" Archived October 23, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, The New York Times, January 25, 1994. Accessed October 22, 2017. "Oliver Smith, one of the most prolific and imaginative designers in the history of the American theater and a former co-director of American Ballet Theater, died on Sunday at his home in Brooklyn Heights."
  123. ^ Mead, Rebecca. "Dan Stevens in Brooklyn" Archived October 30, 2020, at the Wayback Machine, The New Yorker, October 6, 2014. Accessed August 24, 2020. "These days, Stevens is a Brooklyn resident. Since the spring of 2013, when his six-month run starring in The Heiress, on Broadway, ended, Stevens and his wife, Susie Harriet, along with their two small children, have been living in Brooklyn Heights."
  124. ^ Roberts, Sam. "William C. Thompson, Pioneering Black Legislator and Judge, Dies at 94" Archived January 7, 2019, at the Wayback Machine, The New York Times, January 3, 2019. Accessed January 6, 2019. "William C. Thompson, a former Brooklyn legislator and judge who was in the vanguard of the black Democrats who staked their claim to elective office beginning in the mid-1960s, died on Dec. 24 at his home in Brooklyn Heights."
  125. ^ Keane, James T. "Talking truth and lies with the Norwegian novelist who won the Nobel Prize", America, March 22, 2022. Accessed March 19, 2024. "Settling in Brooklyn Heights after fleeing the Nazis in Norway (where her son was killed in battle), Undset began speaking and writing against totalitarianism and both Hitler and Stalin, including in America, where she was acquainted with longtime editor John LaFarge, S.J."
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  127. ^ Goodman, Lizzy. "MGMT’s Homecoming", New York, November 6, 2009. Accessed March 19, 2024. "'I never thought I’d live in Brooklyn Heights,” muses MGMT front man Andrew VanWyngarden, as he strolls down the leafy streets of the neighborhood where he resides, and where MGMT are finishing work on Congratulations, their follow-up to 2007’s neopsychedelic smash, Oracular Spectacular.
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Further reading

  • Applegate, Debby. The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher. Doubleday, 2006.
  • Capote, Truman. A House On the Heights, with a new introduction by George Plimpton. Little Bookroom, 2002.
  • Lancaster, Clay. Old Brooklyn Heights: New York's First Suburb. Dover Books, 1979.
  • Tippins, Sherill. February House: The Story of W.H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Jane and Paul Bowles, Benjamin Britten, and Gypsy Rose Lee, Under One Roof in Wartime America. Houghton Mifflin, 2005.

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