In recent years, Brooklyn Heights has charmed visitors to New York City in unprecedented numbers. This is a reflection of Brooklyn’s changing reputation in the public’s conscious. The neighborhood has long been a stunner, as the it’s charm is primarily geographic and historic. The neighborhood offers some of the best views of Lower Manhattan, as well as some of the finest and best preserved examples of several architectural styles, including:
Also known as Neoclassical, this architectural style pays tribute to ancient Greek architecture through its columns, facades, and porticos. St. Anne’s Preschool on Willow Street, just off the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, offers a well-maintained example of the Classical Revival style.
405 buildings in the Brooklyn Heights Historic District were built in the Greek Revival style, a major architectural movement in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Characterized most heavily by Doric and Ionic columns, Greek Revival buildings are strikingly impressive. The Dime Savings Bank at Bond and Dekalb, a 10-minute walk from NU Hotel Brooklyn, is a great example.
Bracketed cornices, bell towers reminiscent of those rising above Florentine churches, and adjoining arched windows are defining characteristics of the Italianate architectural style. Several of Brooklyn Heights’ brownstone row houses evoke this style.
Structures built in the Romanesque architectural style tend to have tall, round-arched windows and templed roofs. Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Cathedral at Henry and Remsen, the Hermann Behr Mansion at Henry and Pierrepont, and the US Post Office in Cadman Plaza epitomize the Romanesque and Romanesque Revival architectural styles. All are within 10 or 15 minutes’ walk of NU Hotel Brooklyn.
Two blocks east of NU Hotel Brooklyn on State Street stands one of New York’s finest examples of Victorian Gothic architecture. St. Nicholas Antiochian Church, with its gabled pediment and dormer windows, is worth a visit if you’re into Gothic architecture. The single rose window is particularly striking.
In 1965, Brooklyn Heights became the first NYC neighborhood to be designated a National Historic Landmark. This is good news for architecture buffs looking to admire examples of the styles discussed above. If that’s you, make sure you get to Brooklyn Heights on your next visit to New York.