Constructed Environments Seminar: ” History! History! “

Looking into the history of Crown Heights I began to notice the fast development of Crown Heights in the early 1900’s after I discover a lot of demolished buildings and construction sights as I walked around the neighborhood.  My research led me to the New York Public libraries pictures of Crown heights back to when it consisted of farms and large estates.  Nostrand and Franklin Ave quickly reached this area from the rest of Brooklyn and became a bustling main street of new urban development that can still be seen today.  That is where we stand now, trying to preserve what is left of the two-4 story buildings on the main avenues.  Years of gentrification have slowing reached Crown Heights, and my research found  “The Plan for New York City”, a urban development proposal in 1969, where three destination large buildings were planned to be constructed in Crown Heights.  The area is contingent to Weeksville, one of the first areas freed African American slaves settled in when allowed to purchase lands, and early proposals seemed to be redlining particular areas.  In another artcile a local woman discusses how she believes inflation has been pushing her neighbors out of their homes. In 2013 another proposal was made, and from my point of view seemed to have the neighborhood and its people in mind.  It did not suggest the construction of large attractions, but a complex zoning of the neighborhood, keeping old and smaller style buildings, bringing in some development off the main strip, and the creation of a large affordable housing zone shows how gentrification can be done with more planning and thought to try and sustain a neighborhoods culture and identity, while also cleaning up the streets and bringing in a new flourishing market.  Using pictures from studio research along with “OldNYC” photos I can present the spread of New York City to the once outskirts and farm land, and have found photos from the same cross streets on Nostrand Avenue that I have taken throughout my visits to show how much it is still changing to this day, but also to show how the neighborhood is working to keep their identity. Another article briefly explained a lawsuit against a public pool that segregated genders for use, Using a public space for religious rules did not go over well with most residents in Crown Heights.



Plan for New York City, 1969: A Proposal – Brooklyn – District 8

2013 Zoning Proposal


New York Public Library: OldNYC – Nostrand Ave, Crown Heights

Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Where Stoop Life Still Thrives


Gregor, Alison. “Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Where Stoop Life Still Thrives.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 17 June 2015,

Gender-Segregated Swimming Cut Back at 2 Public Pools Near Brooklyn Hasidic Areas


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