From the 1920s to the 50s, several photos and postcard of our neighborhood, including the construction of the Eastern Parkway subway stop and the Brooklyn Public Library. (Courtesy of the Brooklyn Public Library Historical Photo Collection)Read More
The question of green space is not a contemporary one. New York has been struggling with it for more than 150 years. By the mid-1800s, while the rich retreated to their uptown mansions, and downtown tenements and factories overflowed, landscape architects re-envisioned city life for the coming century—they dreamed in green. First, Central Park was completed in 1857 by the prolific Frederick Law Olmstead, whose work includes the U.S. Capitol and the White City of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, who then turned his gaze to Brooklyn. By 1880, Kings County had become the third largest American city but continued to be advertised as an escape from Manhattan and its corrupting modernity, as a return to nature. And as such, it needed a park and that park needed a grand entrance.
Eastern Parkway was designed to be revolutionary, an American Champs-Élysées. By 1866, Eastern Parkway was in the works as the world’s first parkway, meant to mirror the far-stretching, spacious boulevards of Western European cities by urban planners like Georges-Eugène Haussmann, who ordered the demolition of medieval Paris and the construction of an iconic modern one in its place. These Parisian boulevards had a two-fold goal: riot prevention and to convey hegemonic power in aesthetic form.
Full article in Untapped Cities by Anna Gedal on October, 17 2013