The Brooklyn Heights Promenade is a pedestrian walkway made famous in multiple Hollywood movie productions like Annie Hall and Moonstruck. One-third of a mile long, it offers a vista of the Statue of Liberty, the Manhattan skyline, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Lined with flower beds, trees, benches, and playgrounds, the promenade is a favorite destination for tourists, joggers, strollers, families, and lovers. It looks out on the East River and is part of Brooklyn's first Historic Preservation District.
The adjacent neighborhood features brownstone homes and quiet
streets. Brooklyn Heights encapsulates the
history of New York and America. The Dutch first appeared in 1645,
forming the settlement of Breuckelen near the site of today's Borough
Hall. The bluffs of Brooklyn Heights were already a popular location in
the 18th century when many of Manhattan's early merchants built mansions
there overlooking the city on the island below.
During the 1800s, New York and Brooklyn boomed and many of New York's
wealthiest investors settled in Brooklyn Heights. In 1807, Robert Fulton
captained his steamboat, The Clermont, from Brooklyn on its maiden
voyage up the Hudson River. In 1814, Fulton gained a franchise to
operate ferry service via steamboat from Brooklyn to Manhattan. As the
population exploded, Brooklyn became a city in 1833.
In the mid-1940s, Robert Moses wanted to construct a new expressway right
through the heart of Brooklyn Heights. He was stopped by the outcry of
the Brooklyn Heights Association, and a solution emerged to build a
two-tiered highway above the waterfront. The Promenade was constructed
in part to insulate the neighborhood from the noise of the Brooklyn
Queens Expressway. It opened to the public in October 1950 and has been a
magnet for local residents and visitors alike for over half a century.