Brooklyn Heights Visitors Guide
Travel to the beautiful neighborhood known as Brooklyn Heights in Brooklyn, New York City.
Brooklyn has a fine museum, impressive botanical gardens, and one of New York’s most beautiful neighborhoods, Brooklyn Heights,
The term ‘outer borough’ makes a trip to Brooklyn sound like a bit of a trek. It isn’t. All you have to do is cross the Brooklyn Bridge, over the East River from downtown Manhattan and you are there. The best way is to walk.
Originally known as the Brooklyn Village, in 1834 it was the main area of Brooklyn City. Bordering the east of Brooklyn Heights are Court Street and Cadman Plaza, on the west by the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, to the south is Atlantic Avenue, and on the north New York City car rental travelers will come across the Brooklyn Bridge. Brooklyn Heights is the closest part of Brooklyn to Lower Manhattan which is across the East River.
This residential neighborhood has premier waterfront facilities and amenities for recreational and commercial use. The Pier 1 Playground and Harbor View Lawn offer panoramic views of the New York Harbor and the famous Brooklyn Bridge. You can also sit on the stairs of the Granite Prospect and admire the stunning skyline of Lower Manhattan.
The Pier 1 Salt Marsh is a unique natural attraction near Pier 1. Basketball and handball courts are open to the public at Pier 2, which includes several grassy fields for other outdoor sports. Pier 5 has multiple soccer fields for amateur play by local clubs and organizations.
Overlooking Governor’s Island, Pier 6 has a man-made beach, dog park, children’s playground, and other family-friendly facilities. This pier also has spacious promenades that accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists. Some of the riverfront piers at Brooklyn Heights are directly connected by scenic trails that are part of the Greenway Trace.
The waterfront area of the district is also lined with trendy hotels, bars, restaurants, and shops that capture the essence of the borough. For example, the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge is a modern property with a five-star rating. This chic hotel has rooftop lounges and bars that offer sweeping views of Manhattan and the surrounding rivers. Pizzerias, cafes, ice cream shops, and bistros are concentrated near the corner of Old Fulton Street and Furman Street.
The Brooklyn Historical Society is centrally located in Brooklyn Heights. Dedicated to the history of the borough, this venue hosts rotating exhibitions on various eras in NYC. The society’s on-site library has more than 33,000 books in the archives. Thousands of maps, manuscripts, and other printed materials also shed light on the history of Brooklyn.
Dominating the scene at Cadman Plaza Park, the Brooklyn War Memorial pays tribute to more than 11,000 soldiers from Brooklyn who participated in World War I. Made of limestone and granite, this memorial is one of the largest of its kind in NYC.
The Brooklyn Bridge
Many consider the Brooklyn Bridge to be one of the world’s most beautiful bridges. Its delicate network of steel cables frames many a postcard view of Manhattan. Walking across it is a delightful experience. The raised wooden boardwalk is for the use of pedestrians and cyclists only (a yellow line keeps you out of the cyclists’ lane) and the 35-40 minute walk across to Brooklyn Heights on a warm evening, with a cooling breeze from the river, is a treat for New Yorkers and visitors alike.
Completed in 1883, the bridge was at that time the world’s largest single-span suspension bridge and was the first to use steel cables. It is these cables, together with the constantly changing view of Manhattan, that provides an opportunity for some of the most dramatic photographs of New York. If you enjoy taking pictures you’ll find yourself snapping away at every new angle.
New York – Brooklyn – Brooklyn Heights
You probably will not have time to explore the whole of Brooklyn, nor would you want to. If it were a separate city it would be the fourth largest in the United States and there’s a lot of it that is not of particular interest to tourists. Brooklyn Heights is a real treat, so make your way there. It’s just a short walk from the bridge.
In 1965 Brooklyn Heights became New York’s first designated Historic District. It is a quiet residential neighborhood of tree-shaded streets with names like Cranberry, Orange, Pineapple, and Willow, where you will find perfectly preserved houses representing the many styles of 19th-century American architecture. It is a peaceful and pretty area to wander in. Many houses have lovely scrollwork with wrought iron balconies covered with gnarled vines and there are small neighborhood cafes where you can have a coffee and rest your feet for a while.
One of the nicest parts of Brooklyn Heights is the tree-lined promenade which overlooks the river and provides one of the best viewpoints of New York. There are benches to sit upon and much to observe in the busy life of the harbor and the parade of families out for a walk.
New York – Brooklyn – Famous Residents
Famous residents of Brooklyn Heights include John A. Roebling, Washington Roebling, Henry Ward Beecher, Marilyn Monroe, Norman Mailer, Thomas Wolfe, W. H. Auden, Truman Capote, Arthur Miller, and Carson McCullers.
No longer only for those established New York families who could afford to live here, Brooklyn Heights has become more cosmopolitan and has been home to people like Thomas Wolfe, Truman Capote, and Arthur Miller. In the 19th century, Thackeray and Lincoln visited the Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims on Orange Street where the abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher delivered his hard-hitting moral sermons. Perhaps better known as the brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Beecher railed against the horrors of slavery and war and warned his congregation of the dangers of alcohol and immorality.
Brooklyn Heights is a piece of gracious old New York – don’t miss it. The walk back across the bridge to Manhattan, with the constantly shifting view of the skyscrapers, is spectacular.
Battling over Brooklyn
In the middle of the seventeenth century, right before the Dutch settled n Long Island the bluff which is presently occupied by Brooklyn Heights was called Ihpetonga which means “the high sandy bank” in the native Lenape Native Americans. Brooklyn Heights was once heavily fortified for one of the largest battles of the American Revolutionary War, The Battle of Long Island (or The Battle of Brooklyn). This is where General George Washington withdrew his troops after heavy losses due to the British who were strongly advancing towards Continental Army lines. Washington was able to retreat across the East River to Manhattan without any more losses to troops or supplies.
Enjoying your time in Brooklyn Heights
Stretch out your legs and take a breath of fresh air. Take a stroll in the Heights Promenade area. It is a scenic walk and will see a two-story carriage house as well as a wood frame residence all the way back from the 19th century. For those who like to party into the wee hours, check out Montague Street. If you’re craving Mideastern, Atlantic Avenue is your answer!
Seeing the beauty in architectural style
Make sure to drive slowly in the neighborhoods or you will definitely be missing out! Brooklyn Heights has been a protected neighborhood since 1965 by the Landmarks Preservation Law of New York City. The neighborhood is mainly composed of pretty picturesque rowhouses. However, among the rowhouses, you will be able to find a large assortment of houses with a wide variety of architectural styles. If you travel to the northern part of the neighborhood, you will find a few Federal-style homes dated back to the early 19th century, brick Greek Revival and Gothic Revival houses, and Italianate brownstones. Also, don’t forget to check the authentic mansions which can be found on Pierrepont Street. Being a historic district, Brooklyn Heights has few high-rise buildings, these include 75 Livingston Street, Hotel St. George, and the Montague-court building. Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims, and St Ann’s Church (a UNESCO World Heritage site) can also be found in Brooklyn Heights.
For more information on Brooklyn Heights, please visit the Brooklyn Heights Association at http://www.brooklynheightsassociation.org/ or call the association at 719 – 858 – 9193.
Visiting Brooklyn Heights
Situated on the East River, Brooklyn Heights is easily accessible by ferry. The Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6/Atlantic Avenue station is located in the southern section of the neighborhood. This dock is served by the South Brooklyn (SB) line, which stops at Wall St/Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan and Governors Island.
Situated in the neighborhood’s northern tip, the DUMBO/BBP Pier 1 station is also served by the SB ferry line. Additionally, this waterfront pier is part of the East River (ER) route, which stops at various points in Manhattan along the East River.
The iconic Brooklyn Bridge is another infrastructure that offers direct access to Brooklyn Heights. Exit ramps near Cadman Plaza lead directly to the waterfront district. In fact, this historic plaza defines the community’s eastern border. Interstate 278, also known locally as the Brooklyn Queens Expressway runs through the neighborhood’s western side. This busy expressway links Brooklyn with Queens and Staten Island.
Of course, you can also take the NYC Subway to this vibrant area of Brooklyn. The A and C trains stop at High Street-Brooklyn Bridge station, and the 2 and 3 trains serve the Clark Street station. Additionally, the N, R and W lines stop at the Court Street station.