Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
Prospect Heights is a neighborhood in Brooklyn, bounded by Flatbush Avenue, Atlantic Avenue, Eastern Parkway and Washington Avenue . At the northernmost frontier are the Atlantic Avenue Train Yards. Defunct bakeries and factory spaces line Pacific Street from Vanderbilt Avenue to Carlton Avenue . The neighborhood consists mostly of brownstone style residential buildings, although the blocks of Lincoln and St. Johns Places between Underhill and Washington Avenues are multi-unit, depression-era buildings.
Eastern Parkway, from Grand Army Plaza to Washington Avenue is reminiscent of Manhattan's 5th Avenue "Museum Mile". Immense, opulent buildings line the north side of the parkway, and the south side features the Brooklyn Public Library, Mount Prospect Park (not to be confused with Prospect Park), the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the recently renovated Brooklyn Museum (finished April 2004).
Prospect Heights is well known for its Caribbean culture. Every year the West Indian Day Parade follows Eastern Parkway, beginning in Crown Heights and ending at Grand Army Plaza. Lately, the neighborhood has seen an influx of young, mostly white residents seeking affordable rents. Vanderbilt Avenue features numerous bars and restaurants frequented by this demographic, in contrast to the typically West Indian community on Washington Avenue.
Compared to other Brooklyn neighborhoods, Prospect Heights is relatively small and the character of the neighborhood at each of its borders lends credence to its diversity. To the north, the train tracks, defunct factories and storage buildings define the area. The Flatbush Avenue border exemplifies a thriving community of restaurants and shops, and brownstones line the residential streets. Eastern Parkway, as outlined above, speaks of expensive real estate in well-maintained luxury buildings. And Washington Avenue, from Atlantic Avenue to Eastern Parkway, consists of vacant storefronts, poorly maintained sidewalks, run-down bodegas and faltering Mom and Pop stores.
However, signs of Washington Avenue's history--and future potential--poke through the evidence of blight. Bastions of the neighborhood's past, such as Tom's Restaurant and the Police Precinct at the corner of Grand Avenue and Park Place exemplify the historic character of Prospect Heights. On Washington, new buildings are being constructed near Atlantic Avenue and new restaurants have opened, looking to draw business from the neighborhood’s changing demographics. Eventually, the segment of Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights will likely become a thriving economic and residential thoroughfare.
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