Created by the Olmsted and Vaux firm, this map shows the original plans for Prospect Park, as well as the historic reservoir at Grand Army Plaza (1871)
The Center for Brooklyn History, a collaboration between the Brooklyn Historical Society and the Brooklyn Public Library, launched a user-friendly online portal that contains the institution’s collection of nearly 1,500 maps of Brooklyn dating back to 1562. While researchers will no doubt appreciate the new accessibility to the unique maps, the tool is also a fun way for all residents of the borough to explore the evolution of their neighborhood over the last four centuries. From rare Revolutionary War maps and original plans for Prospect Park to a subway map detailing how to get to Ebbets Field, the maps span more than 450 years and include transit maps, cultural maps, survey charts, and more.
More this way
Photo of the Brooklyn Public Library flagship by Ajay Suresh via Flickr
Two Brooklyn institutions are joining forces to broaden their impact and create “the premiere collection” of archival materials related to the history of the borough. The Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) and Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) have announced a plan to unify their resources, which was approved by the boards of both organizations this week. The library will serve as the parent institution and the partnership is expected to bring greater financial stability to both while expanding the historical society’s reach through the library’s 59 branches.
February marks Black History Month, a nationwide celebration of African American culture and history. New Yorkers will have plenty of opportunities to honor the contributions made by the black community, with live performances, guided tours, comedy shows, art installations, and more events happening across the city. From the Apollo Theater’s open house celebration to spoken word performances at Brooklyn barbershops, pay tribute to the achievements of black Americans this February, as well as all year round.
The full list, ahead
Historic Hunterfly Road Houses via the Brooklyn Historical Society
It’s a mighty sounding moniker, but the name “King’s County” also speaks to Brooklyn’s less-than-democratic origins. At the turn of the 19th century, the city of Brooklyn was known as the “slaveholding capital” of New York State and was home to the highest concentration of enslaved people north of the Mason-Dixon Line. But, after New York State abolished slavery in 1827, free black professionals bought land in what is now Crown Heights and founded Weeksville, a self-supporting community of African American Freedman, which grew to become the second-largest free black community in Antebellum America. By 1855, over 520 free African Americans lived in Weeksville, including some of the leading activists in the Abolitionist and Equal Suffrage movements.
More about free black Brooklyn
Photos © James and Karla Murray
The new exhibition at the Brooklyn Historical Society, “The Business of Brooklyn,” celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and tells the fascinating story of the borough’s 100 years of business, detailing its industrial past, large companies, as well as its preponderance of mom-and-pop shops. It also showcases many objects and artifacts, which have their origins in Brooklyn, demonstrating the significant “role that Brooklyn has played in American consumer culture.” The exhibition is on view at the Brooklyn Historical Society’s landmark building in Brooklyn Heights located at 128 Pierrepont Street until Winter 2019. From those iconic yellow pencils to Brillo pads to Cracker Jack, you may be surprised to see what has been made in Brooklyn.
The history of 10 famous products made in Brooklyn
Roses and chocolate are nice, but why go the traditional route when the city has so much more to offer for Valentine’s Day. Show your significant other, spouse, or best friend how much they mean to you with one of these ten alternative events that 6sqft rounded up throughout the city. From a wastewater treatment plant tour, to after-hours museum visits, to a romantic evening at the planetarium, these are the perfect ideas for urbanists, historians, and art lovers.
All the events this way
- Mind-Bending Bamboo Structures: It’s strong, it’s flexible, and it doesn’t even do yoga. Architizer showcases 7 bamboo structures you’ll have to see to believe.
- A Blast from Brooklyn’s Past: Take a step back in time with the Brookyn Historical Society’s old map showcase on July 10. The Brooklyn Paper has more on the nostalgic exhibit.
- Tiny Furniture: Looking for furniture for that tiny parlor or that landing off the staircase you just don’t know what to do with? We’ve all been faced with decorating a smaller space. Well Apartment Therapy has come to the rescue with some stylish sofas that will look chic in your tiny space.
- A Colorful Laight Street Loft Remodel: Our name is 6sqft and we have an interior addiction. The last time we looked at apartment interiors was… what time is it? It’s no secret we adore a good loft interior here at 6sqft so we couldn’t resist taking a glimpse–or a long, dreamy gaze–at this Laight Street remodel featured in Freshome.
Images: Laight Street loft (left), Bamboo Structures (right)