New Book highlights ‘fascinating tapestry’ of Brooklyn Heights
Robert Furman, president of the Brooklyn Preservation Council Foundation, will release his new book “The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of America’s First Suburb,” on July 13, bringing to life one of New York’s most historic neighborhoods — Brooklyn Heights.
“This lavishly illustrated book brings to vibrant life one of New York’s and America’s oldest and most fascinating neighborhoods…it offers a fascinating, panoramic tapestry of the Heights’ human texture both high and low,” said author and historian Fergus M. Bordewich.
Settled in the 1600s, its strategic location overlooking the harbor proved instrumental during the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Brooklyn. In the 1830s, steam ferries transformed it into America’s first suburb, where abolitionism flourished and one of the largest Civil War Sanitary Fairs was held. Throughout the nineteenth century, wealthy philanthropists and entrepreneurs built high-styled Gothic Revival and Italianate homes and founded many landmark Brooklyn institutions.
Though the neighborhood declined with the new century, it became a target of Robert Moses’s urban renewal projects in the 1930s. Its designation as the city’s first historic district saved Brooklyn Heights, and it has since blossomed into one of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods.
In addition to serving as the president of the Brooklyn Preservation Council Foundation since 2001, Furman has also worked as executive director of Old Stone House, president and founder of Brooklyn Heritage, Inc., and president of Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance. In addition, he is an active member of the Society of Old Brooklynites and the Bay Ridge Historical Society.
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