Manage episode 225880901 series 1530999
EPISODE 281: Downtown Brooklyn has a history that is often overlooked by New Yorkers. You'd be forgiven if you thought Brooklyn's civic center -- with a bustling shopping district and even an industrial tech campus -- seemed to lack significant remnants of Brooklyn's past; many areas have been radically altered and hundreds of old structures have been cleared over the decades.
But, in fact, Downtown Brooklyn is one of the few areas to still hold evidence of the borough's glorious past -- its days as an independent city and one of the largest urban centers in 19th century America.
Around Brooklyn City Hall (now Borough Hall) swirled all aspects of Brooklyn's Gilded Age society. With the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge and a network of elevated railroad lines, Downtown Brooklyn became a major destination with premier department stores on Fulton Street, entertainment venues like the Brooklyn Academy of Music and exclusive restaurants like Gage & Tollners.
The 20th century brought a new designation for Brooklyn -- a borough of Greater New York -- and a series of major developments that attempted to modernize the district -- from the creation of Cadman Plaza to New York's very first "tech hub". In 2004 a major zoning change brought a new addition to the multi-purpose neighborhood -- high-end residential towers. What will the future hold for the original heart of the City of Brooklyn?