Building Housing in Brooklyn Heights: Past, Present, Future

Janes Walk


Led By Jeremy Lechtzin

The story of Brooklyn Heights is one of housing development. From 19th century landowners subdividing farms atop Brooklyn’s scenic bluff. To 20th century writers inventing the idea of “America’s First Suburb” to explain Brooklyn’s boom & bust cycles. The neighborhood’s homes are a microcosm for New York City’s past, where we’re at in today’s housing crisis, and paths we might take in the future.

Brooklyn historian Jeremy Lechtzin guides this in-person walking tour of Brooklyn Heights. Explore the neighborhood’s oldest & newest homes, former mansions & SROs, sites with multiple iterations of housing and sites that are vacant, the earliest apartment buildings, transit-oriented development, urban renewal projects & more. See the home types enabled by real estate economics, zoning, landmarking, restrictive covenants and other forces.


We'll walk for about 1 mile on neighborhood streets. The tour start is outside an exit from the High Street-Brooklyn Bridge subway station (A/C) -- please check weekend subway schedules to make sure trains are stopping the day of the tour! Other nearby stations are York Street (F), Clark Street (2/3), Borough Hall (2/3/4/6/R) and Jay Street-Metrotech (A/C/F/R). Citibike docks are within 1 block of tour start and end. Many buses run to Tillary/Cadman 3 blocks away.

Location Information

RSVP is required and capacity is limited. Meeting location, ending location, and directions will be provided via email before walk date.


Sunday, May 7, 2023
11:00 AM
Greater than 1 hour

Borough: Brooklyn
Theme: Advocacy, Art & Architecture, History & Culture
Language: English
Orange Street between Hicks and Willow Streets in Brooklyn Heights. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Beyond My Ken.