Posts Tagged ‘Prospect Park’

The beginning of Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway

November 17, 2011

A century ago, the majestic trees lining the pedestrian malls along lovely Eastern Parkway, seen here where it starts at Prospect Park (illuminated by what looks like one lone street light!), were not much more than saplings.

The handsome apartment houses flanking Eastern Parkway, which gave the boulevard the long-ago nickname Doctors’ Row, have yet to be constructed.

And that tower on the right? It’s the water tower built at Prospect Park, opened in 1893 at the northeast corner of Eastern Parkway and Flatbush Avenue.

Dutch farmhouses still standing in New York

March 8, 2010

It’s a bizarre sight: a Dutch farmhouse, built in the 17th or 18th century, near a post-war apartment house or high-rise. On a busy city street, no less.

But this juxtaposition can be found in a handful of places in New York City, like on Broadway at 204th Street in Inwood.

Here you’ll find the Dyckman Farmhouse, above, built in the 1780s. It has the lovely sloping eaves and front porch that make these homes so charming.

As does the Lefferts house, also dating to the 1780s. Bought by the city in 1917 and moved just inside Prospect Park off Flatbush Avenue, it was the home of generations of Lefferts, who farmed in Flatbush.

The Historic House Trust has more info and a map of colonial-era structures throughout the five boroughs.

The burial ground in Prospect Park

December 9, 2008

Walk into Prospect Park at the 15th Street and Prospect Park West entrance and head toward the woods off Center Drive. On the other side of a barbed-wire fence is a hidden little Quaker cemetery that predates Prospect Park. 

cemeterysign

Unfortunately the entrance is always closed to park-goers, and you can’t get close enough to read the modest, unadorned gravestones. But it’s neat nonetheless. Not a bad deal to have your final resting place in a beautiful city park, right?

quakergravestones

It’s safe to assume that the Brooklynites buried here were ordinary citizens. But there’s one famous name who managed to make it in. Actor Montgomery Clift was laid to rest here after he died of a heart attack in his Manhattan townhouse in 1966.

montgomeryclift

Kansas? Nebraska? Nope, 19th century Brooklyn

October 29, 2008

It’s hard to imagine that in the 1860s, when this photo was taken, much of Brooklyn consisted of farmland dotted with the occasional house and tree.

This is before Brooklyn was even a united city; Kings County around this time contained a couple of different cities and several small towns that had yet to be combined into the borough of Brooklyn as we know it today. 

But things would change soon. Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden as well as major thoroughfares like Eastern Parkway and Ocean Parkway would all be built in the next few decades, ushering in a big Brooklyn population boom.

Brooklyn’s Prospect Hill water tower

October 17, 2008

This image is from a postcard dating back to the 1890s, soon after the tower was built. According to a Brooklyn Daily Eagle article from January 18, 1893, a water shortage threatened the city (the city of Brooklyn, that is, which had yet to become part of New York City):

“There would be no substantial relief until the water tower at Prospect Hill should be put in use, which would be in two or three months,” the article states. 


This prime part of Brooklyn looks awfully lonely and barren in the photo. But things would quickly change: The Brooklyn Museum would soon be built on a land to the east of the water tower and adjoining reservoir. Eastern Parkway would eventually be lined with trees and apartment houses.

The tower itself was constructed to supply water to houses near Prospect Park, which there would be many more of in the coming years.