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Old 05-16-2015, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Glendale NY
4,841 posts, read 8,200,326 times
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What exactly is the eastern border for Prospect Heights? Is it Washington Avenue? Classon? Franklin? Bedford etc.

I was driving around there a few weeks ago and I really like the area. I'm assuming the borders are this-

West-Flatbush Avenue
North-Atlantic Avenue
South-Eastern Parkway
East-???
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Old 05-16-2015, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY (Crown Heights/Weeksville)
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Washington Ave.

Major media, including NYTimes, Wall St. Journal, plus most residents of Prospect Heights would tell you it's Washington Ave.

BUT, realtors and some who are afraid of the mere name "Crown Heights" will tell you it's Franklin. If you hear the silly realtor name "Pro-Cro" for the swath between Washington and Franklin, that's realtor-speak for, "Live here and you don't have to tell people you live in Crown Heights [even though it IS Crown Heights.]

If gentrification continues eastward beyond Franklin to Nostrand, maybe the realtors will rename the next swath, "Pro-Nos" despite the fact that it's really confusing, like "for and against."

I'm also a huge fan of Prospect Heights as a neighborhood. My adult son and his wife lived there nearly a decade until recently, and they miss its commercial offerings. Proximity to the parks and museums, walkability to eat in Park Slope, the best integrated neighborhood (50-50 black/white) in the city, good transportation choices by subways.

We couldn't afford it so ended up further east in Crown Heights near Utica. But whenever I need more upscale choices -- groceries, restaurants or better furnished doctor/veterinary offices, coffee, yoga supplies LOL -- I drive, bus or train the 2 miles over to PH. One thing, though: parking in PH is very tight. You said you were driving through, so I thought I'd mention that.

According to the Community Board #8 boundaries, all of Prospect Heights (from Flatbush on east) is in the same district # as Crown Heights and Weeksville. I'm not sure what that means exactly, except that when I went to a CB#8 district meeting, the citizen committees were discussing and making votes on sidewalk cafes, liquor licensing etc. in Prospect Heights also. So on some kind of government level, there is fluidity across the eastern borderlines of PH. If you, as a driver-through saw a blurry border around Classon, Bedford, etc. that might be a reason.

Last edited by BrightRabbit; 05-16-2015 at 10:47 AM..
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Old 05-16-2015, 11:39 AM
 
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I'd say the train tracks are the eastern border.
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Old 05-17-2015, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Middle of the Pacific Ocean
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There are legitimate reasons to support either Washington or Classon as the eastern border of Prospect Heights.

Here's what montrosemorris (Suzanne Spellen) of Brownstoner had to write about the borders of the neighborhood:

Quote:
Prospect Heights is an old name, and dates back to the 1880s, according to Kenneth Jackson, author of The Encyclopedia of the City of New York. It was also called Prospect Hill, because of Mt. Prospect and the Reservoir. Apparently, the name went out of use up until the mid 20th century, and up to Flatbush, the neighborhood was called Crown Heights, but the Washington Ave border was established as the border between the 2 neighborhoods sometime when neither neighborhood was all that desireable for white upscale living, back in the mid 20th century.

In the 1880s, the name definitely was in use, as there was a Prospect Heights Hall, a Prospect Heights Tennis Club, and Prospect Heights Presbyterian Church. Interestingly enough, all of these are west of Flatbush, in what is now Park Slope. When I was doing research on Seney Hospital, which is now Methodist Hospital, the Brooklyn Eagle called the location “Prospect Heights.”

Which goes to show borders can change, but once they are established, and have gelled, leave them alone. The reasons the streets the have been established were chosen usually make sense for geographic reasons. Washington was chosen because of the way it cuts through the neighborhood, vaguely following a parallel line to the old Flatbush Road. Flatbush is a good boundary, as is Eastern Parkway, as is Washington. They make sense.
As you can see, the borders of the neighborhood have changed over time according to Suzanne. And the neighborhood name wasn't even used for quite a while. It makes sense to me. When I first moved into the area, I knew plenty of longtime residents on Dean between Vanderbilt and Underhill (the row houses on the right side of the block heading east toward Washington) who referred to their block as being "Crown Heights." And this was before Prospect Heights was the "it" neighborhood. The rigidity I'm seeing from some in terms of defined borders is something that is relatively recent (yes, people have long quibbled over the borders, but things have gone to a new level as of the last 5-10 years).

Having written that, there are some streets that are just clearly not Prospect Heights' eastern border, including Franklin and anything East as some have ridiculously tried to claim. When legitimately discussing Prospect Heights' eastern border, I believe that the farthest east we can go is Classon. Among other points, Classon is where the Prospect Heights High School (now campus) was established. Ask anyone on that stretch of street 2-3 decades ago what neighborhood they were in, and they would undoubtedly say Prospect Heights.

Still, much of this conversation is for naught. Whether one considers Washington or Classon, etc., to be the eastern border of Prospect Heights, one is still paying Prospect Heights prices/has access to Prospect Heights amenities if they live by Washington, Grand, Classon, etc., Avenues. Take, for instance, Dean Street between Washington and Grand Avenue, a block that some claim is in Prospect Heights, while many others claim its in Crown Heights. A home on that street just sold for $3.45 million (http://www.brownstoner.com/blog/2015...illion-sale/); when I first saw the listing price of $3.5 million, I surely thought that they might get $1.5-$1.8, but nowhere close to the asking price! That's not a Crown Heights selling price, regardless of where that street is ultimately located. Also, if you consider Washington Avenue to be the eastern border of Prospect Heights, if you live on this street (or on Bergen, Pacific, St. Markets, Prospect, etc.) between Washington and Grand, you're literally a stone's throw away from Washington.

Last edited by prospectheightsresident; 05-17-2015 at 08:45 AM..
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Old 05-17-2015, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Middle of the Pacific Ocean
11,411 posts, read 6,173,790 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrightRabbit View Post
Washington Ave.

Major media, including NYTimes, Wall St. Journal, plus most residents of Prospect Heights would tell you it's Washington Ave.

BUT, realtors and some who are afraid of the mere name "Crown Heights" will tell you it's Franklin. If you hear the silly realtor name "Pro-Cro" for the swath between Washington and Franklin, that's realtor-speak for, "Live here and you don't have to tell people you live in Crown Heights [even though it IS Crown Heights.]

If gentrification continues eastward beyond Franklin to Nostrand, maybe the realtors will rename the next swath, "Pro-Nos" despite the fact that it's really confusing, like "for and against."

I'm also a huge fan of Prospect Heights as a neighborhood. My adult son and his wife lived there nearly a decade until recently, and they miss its commercial offerings. Proximity to the parks and museums, walkability to eat in Park Slope, the best integrated neighborhood (50-50 black/white) in the city, good transportation choices by subways.

We couldn't afford it so ended up further east in Crown Heights near Utica. But whenever I need more upscale choices -- groceries, restaurants or better furnished doctor/veterinary offices, coffee, yoga supplies LOL -- I drive, bus or train the 2 miles over to PH. One thing, though: parking in PH is very tight. You said you were driving through, so I thought I'd mention that.

According to the Community Board #8 boundaries, all of Prospect Heights (from Flatbush on east) is in the same district # as Crown Heights and Weeksville. I'm not sure what that means exactly, except that when I went to a CB#8 district meeting, the citizen committees were discussing and making votes on sidewalk cafes, liquor licensing etc. in Prospect Heights also. So on some kind of government level, there is fluidity across the eastern borderlines of PH. If you, as a driver-through saw a blurry border around Classon, Bedford, etc. that might be a reason.
Prospect Heights hasn't been 50% black for years now (maybe 2009-2010); it was about 80%+ black when we moved in during the second half of 1999. Today, I say that its about 75%+ white, with the remaining ~25% being comprised of blacks and other racial groups (for instance, there is a small, but substantial Bangladeshi community in the north east section of the neighborhood, among other examples of diversity). Walking down Washington Avenue today, I could count on one hand the number of black individuals I saw. Note, while blacks and other racial minorities own/rent more than a few row houses in the neighborhood and the number of white row house owners/renters has ballooned since we moved into the area, we also see huge disparities in terms of who is moving into new and renovated apartment buildings/condos, etc.., which adds to the imbalance.

Also, while CB#8 oversees the great majority of Prospect Heights, Boards 2 and 6 also oversee small parts of the neighborhood. Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report: Search results for community board 2; http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/2014...rimea-invasion.

If you're looking for a balanced, racially diverse neighborhood, Prospect Heights today isn't that.

Last edited by prospectheightsresident; 05-17-2015 at 12:13 PM..
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Old 05-17-2015, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY (Crown Heights/Weeksville)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prospectheightsresident View Post
Prospect Heights hasn't been 50% black for years now (maybe 2009-2010); it was about 80%+ black when we moved in during the second half of 1999. Today, I say that its about 75%+ white, with the remaining ~25% being comprised of blacks and other racial groups (for instance, there is a small, but substantial Bangladeshi community in the north east section of the neighborhood, among other examples of diversity). Walking down Washington Avenue today, I could count on one hand the number of black individuals I saw. Note , while blacks and other racial minorities own/rent more than a few row houses in the neighborhood and the number of white row house owners/renters has ballooned since we moved into the area, we also see huge disparities in terms of who is moving into new and renovated apartment buildings/condos, etc.., which adds to the imbalance.

Also, while CB#8 oversees the great majority of Prospect Heights, Boards 2 and 6 also oversee small parts of the neighborhood. Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report: Search results for community board 2; CB2 Bid to Take Over Atlantic Yards Jokingly Compared to Crimea Invasion - Fort Greene - DNAinfo.com New York.

If you're looking for a balanced, racially diverse neighborhood, Prospect Heights today isn't that.
I greatly appreciate these corrections. My "50-50 b/w" statement was based on an article that quoted and merged data from the most recent U.S.census (2010). Things are changing so fast that neighborhood racial data from 2010 census can serve as a benchmark (as your experience aligns), but is not the most recent word about PH today, which is yours describing approx 75% white, and a mixture of people including some AA's for the other ~25%.

I enjoy reading montrosemorris (Suzanne Spellen, architectural historian) on Brownstoner. I just took the new 2-hour walking tour she co-led last weekend with Morgan Munsey (architect and realtor) for the Municipal Art Society. Their newest tour was for Northeast Crown Heights; I also liked their tour last winter of North Central Crown Heights. All will be repeated. The Municipal Art Society of New York click on Tours.

Her research and presentation are thorough and engaging. Suzanne and Morgan know the neighborhoods well, which helped me learn. Another tour walker said she'd lived in Brooklyn her whole life and was still learning new things from their tour.

Last edited by BrightRabbit; 05-17-2015 at 12:48 PM.. Reason: sentence order
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Middle of the Pacific Ocean
11,411 posts, read 6,173,790 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrightRabbit View Post
I greatly appreciate these corrections. My "50-50 b/w" statement was based on an article that quoted and merged data from the most recent U.S.census (2010). Things are changing so fast that neighborhood racial data from 2010 census can serve as a benchmark (as your experience aligns), but is not the most recent word about PH today, which is yours describing approx 75% white, and a mixture of people including some AA's for the other ~25%.

I enjoy reading montrosemorris (Suzanne Spellen, architectural historian) on Brownstoner. I just took the new 2-hour walking tour she co-led last weekend with Morgan Munsey (architect and realtor) for the Municipal Art Society. Their newest tour was for Northeast Crown Heights; I also liked their tour last winter of North Central Crown Heights. All will be repeated. The Municipal Art Society of New York click on Tours.

Her research and presentation are thorough and engaging. Suzanne and Morgan know the neighborhoods well, which helped me learn. Another tour walker said she'd lived in Brooklyn her whole life and was still learning new things from their tour.
No problem! I appreciate similar corrections to my own posts!

Yes, the change was quick and astonishing! I loved Prospect Heights when I moved in (though it had substantially more crime) and I love it even more today with the newer residents and establishments opening up, and with the lower crime! Granted, I do miss some of the camaraderie that existed before gentrification took place (people in the area today don't really speak to each other . . . far fewer "good mornings" and "good evenings" . . . and there is definitely a division between long-time and newer residents).

And Montrosemorris is great! I enjoy all of these sites (whether its City Data or any other site) where I can go and learn/chat with others who are interested in things I'm interested in. I'll certainly try to go on one of those tours as I'm sure that there are things that I can learn as well.
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Old 05-17-2015, 06:01 PM
 
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Excellent posts. I worked in the area for many years and will throw my hat in the ring for Washington Avenue as the border. I wasn't familiar with the excellent historical context posted above, but as a layman, Washington seems a much more natural division since it's the next major thoroughfare east of Flatbush. Classon seems rather arbitrary. And this is purely anecdotal, but I'm sure you could find the stats: The racial makeup does change when you cross Washington along the streets that make up the residential heart of Prospect Heights, like Sterling, Park, St. Mark's and Prospect; there is much more of an African-American and Caribbean presence. I found Crown Heights to be a great neighborhood in many respects. At least it was when I left Brooklyn, but who knows what gentrification has done to that border region between Franklin and Washington.
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Old 05-17-2015, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Middle of the Pacific Ocean
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Good post, SonicYouth! Washington does seem to be more natural than Classon, etc. in many ways (then again, Grand Ave wouldn't be such a terribly out of place border, especially given that it literally turns into Washington at Park Place), but, then again, when have NYC neighborhood borders truly been "natural?"

Also, I agree that the area's black population increases as you go east of Washington/Grand, but I will just again point out that what is indisputably Prospect Heights (the area bounded by Eastern Parkway, Washington, Atlantic, and Flatbush) was overwhelmingly black for a while until approximately 10-15 years ago). I included these blocks in my estimate of the black population of Prospect Heights, whose eastern border I personally peg as being Classon. Take out those blocks and the current white population of Prospect Heights goes up even more than was I estimated it to be previously, while the black population inversely decreases.

I'll say this, though: many recent transplants have no problem referring to the Brooklyn Museum and Botanical Gardens as being in Prospect Heights, even though, by their own definition (not mine, though), the museum and garden are on the "non-Prospect Heights side" of Eastern Parkway. These same people, however, seem to be especially hostile to the idea that the neighborhood extends to some "less desirable" blocks east of Washington. Through their inconsistency, these people play the same boundary game/have the same issues over defining the neighborhood's boundaries as do the people who dispute the eastern border.

Last edited by prospectheightsresident; 05-17-2015 at 06:55 PM..
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Old 05-19-2015, 12:49 PM
 
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I grew up on Plaza St. E. between Butler and Vanderbilt in the 90s. Today, this block would be considered quintessential Prosoect Heights, perhaps even a more "prime" part of it. But growing up, I never really heard the name PH used. I knew I wasn't quite in Park Slope, but it felt like it because it was only a couple of blocks away and I hung out and went to school there. Vanderbilt and Underhill were considered sketchy, but not on the level of Crown Heights, so I didn't think I was there either.

It was kind of a nether-neighborhood, subsumed by Grand Army Plaza and the park
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