Sunday, February 16, 2014

Historic Brooklyn Heights in the Permafrost

Photos by MK Metz
Kids today don't remember snow, but as the white stuff becomes a near-permanent feature of Brooklyn Heights this winter, it has become easier to imagine the Heights of long ago. (It's not so hard -- there are over 600 pre-Civil War buildings still standing in Brooklyn Heights.)

Above, Henry Street, near Love Lane. During Washington's time, a British fort stood across the street.

The Brooklyn Heights Promenade, with One Brooklyn Bridge Park in the distance. Though it seems like it's been here forever, the Promenade was only finished in 1950.

The new Kiehl's on Montage Street, next to Housing Works. In the 1800s, the Montague Street Penny Bridge extended over Montague Street where it went down to the Wall Street Ferry on the waterfront.

The Fortune House Chinese restaurant at 82 Henry Street, next to Fascati's pizza.

In the mid 1800s, the Fireman’s Hall was built on Henry Street across from the block shown above. According to Whitman's Brooklyn, the hall "was another outgrowth of the Great Fire of 1848 that burned much of Downtown Brooklyn from Washington [Cadman Plaza East] to Pineapple to Henry to Sands Street."

St. Ann's & the Holy Trinity Church on Montague Street.  According to St. Ann's:

The church "was built as the Church of the Holy Trinity by Brooklyn paper manufacturer Edgar Bartow who wanted a magnificent edifice for the City of Brooklyn, with pews that were rent-free. He built it between 1844 and 1847 on the highest point in Brooklyn Heights, which was sparsely settled with some large merchants’ homes, small homes and shops and a number of unfinished streets and vacant lots. Bartow purchased the site’s eight lots from the nearby estate of Hezekiah B. Pierrepont (his wife’s family)."

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