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Get to know Park Slope

Just as Central Park was the catalyst for a Manhattan building boom, Prospect Park had a similar effect when it opened in 1867; it just took a bit longer to get going. But by the 1880s and 1890s, Victorian mansions began going up on Prospect Park West — the so-called “Gold Coast” renowned for its park views. The opening of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883 also hastened development, resulting in the construction of brick and brownstone townhouses. In the mid-20th century, Park Slope was ahead of its time. Those Victorian mansions, divided into apartments in the intervening years, started being restored to single-family homes in the 1960s. That grand 19th-century architecture, plus proximity to the park, drew and continues to draw residents. From long before Brooklyn’s current moment of cool, Park Slope has maintained an allure like nowhere else in the borough.

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Park Slope History & Culture

It should not surprise anyone that Prospect Park puts the “park” in Park Slope. Actually, it puts the “slope” in there, too: The area gets its name due to its location on the western slope of the expansive green space. Today, Prospect Park is a haven, its presence radiating a calmness that you can feel throughout the streets of Park Slope. At the park’s northern tip sits Grand Army Plaza, the grounds of which were a battleground of the Battle of Long Island during the Revolutionary War. At present, the public plaza is most recognizable by its triumphal arch, the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch. A crowning sculpture of a four-horsed chariot driven by the goddess of victory tops this memorial to the Civil War, recalling a similar adornment atop Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate.

Park Slope Dining & Shopping

It may seem cliché for what people think of when they think of “Brooklyn,” but Park Slope is home to its share of independent bookstores, record shops, and coffee spots. Perhaps predictably, it also has a flourishing restaurant scene. The main strips of Fifth and Seventh avenues retain a lively mix of businesses, where established favorites mingle with intriguing new additions. Seventh was the sole commercial hub for most of Park Slope’s history. Its character generally fits that of the neighborhood as a whole, with fixtures that have served locals for decades. Fifth has a decidedly Brooklyn-nouveau vibe, represented by local artisans and designers, and a dining scene that is as diverse as Brooklyn itself. Beyond Park Slope’s borders, you can readily acquire any essentials in neighboring Prospect Heights.

Featured Park Slope listings

  • Featured
    Homes for sale in Brooklyn | View 39 Plaza Street West, 9A | 3 Beds, 3 Baths
    Park Slope

    39 Plaza Street West, 9A, Brooklyn, NY 11217

    • Apartment Building
    • 3 BD
    • 3 BA
      COURTESY OF CORCORAN
      $1,785,000