Crown Heights History & Culture
Before its present-day status as an enclave for everyone, Crown Heights’ origins peg it as a retreat for wealthy Manhattanites building second homes. Buoyed by its subway transit—contrasting much of the rest of Brooklyn, which only had elevated trains—Crown Heights would gradually become even more residential and, eventually, a premier NYC neighborhood. It would claim the world’s first parkway, Eastern Parkway, designed by metropolitan greenspace kings Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. In addition to ferrying folks from Grand Army Plaza, past Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Museum, and all the way to Bushwick, Eastern Parkway plays annual host to the jubilant West Indian Day Parade—a Crown Heights tradition since 1964. The Dodgers couldn’t hack it, but a sense of pride comes with residing in Crown Heights—that no matter where you come from, you can find a home there.