A Blogazine, based out of Park Slope, Brooklyn, that features fun and interesting articles. Topics include: parenting, society, real estate, career, style, spirituality and more. Written contributions are always welcome!

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Tour Grows in Brooklyn

I recently took a tour of Brooklyn's historical Park Slope-Prospect Park with A Tour Grows in Brooklyn. It was an exciting and educational walk led by the Founder and Tour Guide, Richard Kadlub. Richard has a vast knowledge of Brooklyn that was impressive. I asked him to write a short article about Park Slope's evolution throughout the years and hope that it will peak your interest to take this wonderful tour too!

By Richard Kadlub

Brooklyn was founded by the Dutch in the 1600's and Park Slope in the 1890's was know as Brooklyn's gold coast. Dotted with single family mansion's most of which have been broken up into apartments this area had the highest earning per capita in the United States in the 1890's. Brooklyn was its own city for 64 years up until 1898 when it incorporated with Manhattan, Brooklynites were against consolidation and only lost this charter by 120 votes.

It is more famous in name than Manhattan and those of us who grew up in Brooklyn when asked where we're from don't say New York we say Brooklyn. Park Slope was predominantly an Italian and Irish working class area in the 1950's with many generations choosing to live right where their ancestors settled.

My family is in Brooklyn over 100 years. My Grandmother lived in the same apartment for 70 years at Carroll St and President St below 4th Ave. This still remains the last strangle-hold of Italian-Americans in the area.

In the 1970's the area fell into dis-repair when President Gerald Ford told NYC he was not going to fund any federal money to New York. The area of Park Slope become drug infested and many people fled to the suburbs, with over a one mile stretch of 5th Ave was left empty and abandoned. Now with the gentrification of Park Slope and the surrounding area 5th Ave has become the main commercial strip in Park Slope. And 4th Ave has been rezoned for 12 story condominiums to be built, prompting many people to settle in the area as it's so close to Manhattan and for about half the price.

The neighborhood I grew up in has changed drastically for the better. Prospect Park was built in 1867 by Frederick Law Olmstead & Calvert Vaux the same architects who built Central Park and claiming Prospect Park to be their crowning jewel. The park has many features. Brooklyn's only lake, is 60 acres and twice the size of Central Parks lake. Also Brooklyn's only forest, an ice skating rink, the bandshell that hosts a summer concert series, the tennis house, and a Revolutionary War battle site, as well as musicians grove and the boathouse which houses the Adubon's only interpretive center in the U.S. Come to Brooklyn and discover it's rich history!

Richard Kadlub is the founder and owner/operator of A Tour Grows In Brooklyn. He is also a member of The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce serving on several committee's. The Brooklyn Heights Association. Richard is also affiliated with Brooklyn Tourism which come's out of Brooklyn Borough Hall, The Brooklyn Museum, The American Heart Association and The American Cancer Society. For a great tour or Brooklyn's Park Slope - Prospect Park check out his web site http://www.brooklynwalkingtour.cominmonths/ in the 18 months of doing the tours Richard has a 100% positive rating, read some of the reviews. Tickets can also be purchased by calling Zerve at 212-209-3370.