History & Culture
The source of Park Slope’s name, Prospect Park, opened in 1867, designed by the same team behind Manhattan’s Central Park: Frederick Law Olmsted and partner Calvert Vaux. Though the park would generate interest in the area, it would take some time before development took off in earnest. The opening of the Brooklyn Bridge, in 1883, accelerated the pace. The grandest homes were built along Prospect Park West and facing, or at least close to, Grand Army Plaza. Over time, Park Slope transitioned from an address for the elite to a largely working-class area, but in the 1960s, urban pioneers began to recognize the underappreciated gems. Here, for the price of a studio in Manhattan one could buy an entire house, albeit a house in need of repairs. Those bargains no longer exist, but the neighborhood continues to be a favorite of families and others who appreciate its architecture and welcoming character.