Experience two of Brooklyn's top neighborhoods back-to-back: historic Brooklyn Heights, and trendy DUMBO. It will be a walk through time as we journey through 200 years in just 2 hours: from stately town homes of the 1800's to cutting-edge loft buildings of the modern day.
Brooklyn Heights - Brooklyn Heights is a leafy neighborhood of brownstone town houses. Its serene, tree-lined streets hold centuries of profound history.
In Brooklyn Heights, we meander through the borough’s oldest area – known as ‘America’s first suburb’. We admire the outstanding architecture of landmarked homes, buildings and churches while learning about Brooklyn's history. We discover the stories and events through which the face of America was shaped - Brooklyn was once the 3rd largest city. See the homes which once housed rich and important communities – now gentrified and upscale again. Can you guess which famous writers once lived in leafy Brooklyn Heights?
DUMBO - Brooklyn's once-quiet waterfront has been renewed into one of NYC's most modern hip neighborhoods. DUMBO stands for "Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass" and is situated between the towering Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. Its cobblestone streets are lined with trendy boutiques and galleries. These shops are located in repurposed former warehouses and factories, which have been converted for residential use too. Listen closely to learn the secret origin of this artsy neighborhood’s quirky name!
Here are some things to experience on the tour:
Brooklyn Heights is a leafy neighborhood of brownstone town houses. Its serene, tree-lined streets hold centuries of profound history.
We begin the tour by meandering through Brooklyn's oldest area. We admire landmarked homes, buildings and churches while learning about Brooklyn's history. We discover the stories and events through which the face of America was shaped - Brooklyn was once the 3rd largest city
Some of these historic themes include the story of the largest battle of the American Revolutionary War, which was fought in Brooklyn. Another is the pivotal role the borough played in the abolishment of slavery and Union victory in the Civil War. Also Brooklyn's status as a leader of the Industrial Revolution, and its substantial contributions to the country's literary heritage. We also learn about the history of Brooklyn itself: its formation, growth into a modern urban center and incorporation into New York City. The tour additionally highlights influential people who have called the area home, including writer Arthur Miller, abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher and poet Walt Whitman.
As we tread through venerable streets, and immerse ourselves in the epic events they once hosted, we begin to get a feel for the people behind the stories. The individuals who influenced these legendary episodes, who are physically long gone but whose impact still has clear and profound effects which can be measured today. We begin to understand and feel the ambition, desires and passion that led these folks to take the actions they did. We start to understand the basic tenents of human nature being displayed, human nature that vastly transends the petty restrictions of time. The realization begins to occur to us: how these people who lived long ago are not really so different from us today. That time passes, technology advances, circumstances change, but human emotions continue to remain ever constant and the same. These fascinating ideas allow us to view with a new and fresh perspective upon current society, its events, and leaders.
But it's not just historical people in Brooklyn Heights: current celebrities who live there include Paul Giamatti, ,Lena Dunham and Nora Jones.
Here are some of the sites to experience on the tour:
The brownstone town house is synonomous with Brooklyn and New York City. The limited stock of these grand specimens are heavily protected by landmark regulations. But what makes a brownstone so special? To find out, discover the story behind these architectural gems: why they were built and how; and learn about the ambition, passion and aspirations of the people who created and dwelled in them. Looks can be deceiving: If you watch and listen closely, you may uncover the secret many of these structures have been hiding for over 100 years!
The buildings on this quiet cul-de-sac were built as carriage houses, but today are private homes known to cost as much as 2-3 million dollars. But considering how peaceful, serene and inspirational it is, there's no wonder why people are willing to pay top dollar to live there!
Brooklyn Heights Promenade
The Brooklyn Heights Promenade overlooks downtown Manhattan, the New York harbor, Freedom Tower and Brooklyn Bridge. Its unique, sweeping views are perfect for photo-taking. On a warm evening it's a popular place to people-watch, as families, friends and couples stroll and enjoy each others' company.
Brooklyn's once-quiet waterfront has been renewed into one of NYC's most modern hip neighborhoods. DUMBO stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass" and is situated between the towering Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. Its cobblestone streets are lined with boutiques and galleries. These shops are located in repurposed former warehouses and factories, which have been converted for residential use too.
In DUMBO we experience the power of urban renewal firsthand. We navigate the neighborhood's streets to visit trendy shops and galleries. We learn about its industrial history and the story of how it was brought to life over the last 2 decades. We linger at the waterfront to enjoy the magnificent views of both the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, as well as the city skyline. Additionally there's the option of visiting a delicious craft chocolate shop or ice cream factory, chowing down at New York's top-rated pizzeria, or taking a ride on a restored historic carousel.
Here are some of the sites to experience on the tour:
Fulton Ferry Landing
The site of NYC's first steam-powered ferry has now got lots going on! The sweeping harbor and skyline views are augmented by a floating chamber concert venue, an ice cream shop housed in an old marine fire station, and docks for modern ferries providing service along the East River.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
This urban jewel represents the return of nature to the industrialized waterfront. Its series of paths, trails and playgrounds run along the river's edge all across DUMBO. It hosts sporting events, outdoor film nights and kayaking on the river. The centerpiece of the park is a glass-enclosed restored historical carousel.
This 1922 carousel was salvaged from a defunct historical amusement park in Youngstown, Ohio. It was purchased in 1984 by a lady named Jane, who restored it by hand in a neighborhood workshop. Jane wanted to return it to public use by installing it at the waterfront, but complications caused the plans to be delayed for over 25 years. It took until 2011 for it to be finally opened, encased in a million dollar glass structure below the Brooklyn Bridge.
How the Tour Works
This is a public tour given every Friday and Saturday at 9:30am. It lasts approximately 2 hours and covers approximately 1.5 mile of walking distance.
The tour consists of a guided walk through the neighborhoods.
The tour meets in a central location which is easily accessible by public transit or automobile. The meeting address is: 50 Court Street, Brooklyn NY 11201 (Between Joralemon Street & Livingston Street)