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A Selection of Still Images from this New York City Google Business Photo Session with Black Paw Photo! So you've taken our first Downtown Brooklyn walking tour and gotten the lay of the land.
Continue walking down Court Street and turn left on Schermerhorn Street and walk one block. Although MetroTech Center is certainly a center of new investment and development, several vestiges of Downtown Brooklyn’s historic past linger in its streets. Turn left on Lawrence Street and walk down to the next intersection to explore Downtown Brooklyn’s shopping epicenter along Fulton Street. Now it's time to dig deeper and learn some more about the other gems in our neighborhood.
This park features the monumental Brooklyn War Memorial, erected in 1951, which is dedicated to the 300,000 American men and women who served in World War II. The New York Transit Museum is devoted to public transportation history and the development of Metropolitan New York. The modest brick building on the eastern edge of MetroTech Commons, currently occupied by NYU-Poly, once served as the Bridge Street AWME (African Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal) Church, Brooklyn’s first African American Church, from 1854 to 1938.
Serving as Downtown Brooklyn’s leading commercial district since the late 19th century, Fulton Street continues to reinvent itself.
Flatbush Avenue is one of Brooklyn’s most traveled thoroughfares stretching approximately ten miles from the Manhattan Bridge to the Marine Parkway Bridge. The limestone structure is flanked by two large figures at each end – a male warrior and female with a child, symbolizing victory and family respectively.
There you will find the Brooklyn Historical Society, originally founded as the Long Island Historical Society in 1863. Situated in a historic, now defunct 1936 IND subway station, visitors descend into the museum’s vast collections, artifacts, and exhibitions. Continue up Boerum Place and cross the street at Fulton Street (where the Shake Shack building is located). Today the congregation exists in a new structure located on Stuyvesant Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The area’s commercial success was a direct result of the completion of the Fulton Street Elevated Rail Line in 1888, which improved transportation access by connecting Downtown Brooklyn to Fulton Ferry, as well as the residential neighborhoods to the east.
Originally serving as an Indian trail that took advantage of a low point in the moraine, Flatbush Avenue was eventually widened and paved. You will then enter the Fulton Ferry Historic District – a small riverside alcove located beneath the Brooklyn Bridge that is steeped in history.
The memorial hall lists the names of the 11,000 Brooklynites who perished during the war; however this part of the memorial is not open to the public. The historical society served as a prominent research library throughout the mid-20th century, until the 1980s when it was transformed into a dynamic museum and education center.


Brooklyn was incorporated into an independent city in 1834 due to its growing commercial, industrial, and residential presence spurred by Fulton’s ferry service.
One of the most notable events to transpire at the church was a visit by Harriet Tubman in October 1865 who gave a memorable speech.
Beginning in the 1880s, a succession of department stores sprung up along Fulton Street, including Abraham & Strauss (400 Fulton St.
The thoroughfare originally merged into Fulton Street, until an extension was built to feed into the Manhattan Bridge in 1909. Ferry service between Long Island and Manhattan existed as early as the mid-17th century, but by 1814 entrepreneur Robert Fulton revolutionized New York transportation by introducing a steam-propelled ferry which could carry several hundred passengers in addition to horses and wagons with each crossing.
Cadman Plaza Park is the first of three parks that form a mall stretching from the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge at Prospect Street to Borough Hall on Joralemon Street. Today, the Brooklyn Historical Society boasts an impressive permanent collection highlighting the history of the Borough, as well as rotating exhibits, in-school workshops and traveling exhibitions. When it was first opened, the building combined all of the functions of city government within one structure, including the offices of the Mayor and City Council, a courthouse, and a jail. After a five-minute walk, MetroTech Center will be on the right-hand side, with its mixed-use office campus boasting 3.7 million square feet of office space situated around three landscaped acres of commons space. As you walk down Flatbush Avenue, you will encounter several memorable buildings including the Pioneer Warehouse building (41 Flatbush Ave.). This ferry service instantly transformed the Brooklyn landing into a bustling hub featuring pubs and shops. The Othmer Library is a nationally-recognized research library consisting of special collections, manuscripts, photographs, images and oral history collections. In the 1930s, there were discussions about razing Borough Hall, with claims that it had no longer served enough government functions to keep it operational. The New York Transit Museum Archives contains a valuable assemblage of photographs, maps, drawings, documents and ephemera, and can be accessed by appointment only. The firms in the area are rooted in high-technology, business, and education, and MetroTech Center also serves as NYU-Poly’s primary campus.
On the right-hand side you will encounter the Duffield Street Houses (182-188 Duffield St.), a collection of four landmarked 19th century townhouses. In 1816, this nascent community was officially incorporated as the Village of Brooklyn and soon transformed into a commercial and industrial nexus. This haven for history lovers is housed in a nationally landmarked Queen Anne style building completed in 1881.
However, the efforts of architectural preservationists and proud Brooklynites culminated in the building’s designation as a New York City landmarked structure in 1966. The planning of MetroTech Center began in the 1970s when Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden and Polytechnic University President George Bugliarello conjured the idea of transforming the depressed downtown district into a premier center of new business and education.
Today, Borough Hall’s lobby displays an impressive collection of portraits of the former Brooklyn mayors.


The first phase of the project was completed in 1990, and MetroTech Center welcomed tenants ranging from Chase Manhattan Bank, Brooklyn Union Gas, and Securities Industry Automation Corporation. Originally located on Johnson Street, these four buildings were transplanted to their current location in 1990 during the construction of MetroTech Center urban renewal project.
Although the iconic Fulton Street El was disassembled during the 1940s, Fulton Street continued to thrive as a nexus of retail shopping throughout the 20th century.
A stretch of brick structures from 1-25 Old Fulton Street served as the gateway into Brooklyn featuring shops, restaurants, and hotels for visitors. The Brooklyn Tourism Center is conveniently located on the ground floor and is a great resource to discover more about the gems Brooklyn has to offer. The most recent building was completed in 2004, and today MetroTech Center includes twelve buildings, as well as a pedestrianized promenade and verdant open space with plenty of benches and trees. They exemplify the Greek-Revival style which was en vogue for residential properties during the mid-nineteenth century. In 1976, Fulton Street was transformed into a semi-pedestrianized mall with several buses running along the thoroughfare. The facade of this former IRT station head house at one of the busiest intersections in Brooklyn now forms part of the roof of the recently renovated Atlantic Ave-Barclays Center station. The Franklin House Hotel (1 Old Fulton St.) was a long-time dining saloon and hotel located at the foot of Old Fulton Street that welcomed ferry passengers beginning in 1835.
Continue walking down Duffield Street and turn right at Willoughby Street where you will see examples of Brooklyn as a nexus of technology and communications during the 20th century. Check out the district’s assortment of national and regional chains, as well as local retailers such as Heart and Sole and Mirage Boutique.
At the southeastern corner of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues sits Brooklyn’s brand-new entertainment and sports arena. At the intersection of Fulton Street, Bond Street, and Dekalb Avenue is Albee Square, a 27,000-square-foot public plaza located adjacent to the historic Dime Savings Bank Building (see Architectural tour for more information). Opened in September 2012, Barclays Center represents the future of Brooklyn’s burgeoning social, economic and cultural stronghold. The arena hosts the Brooklyn Nets basketball team, in addition to concerts, and other entertainment events. This company was established only years after the commercial introduction of the telephone in New York and served the suburban areas of Long Island, Staten Island and New Jersey.




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