Ramble Through Brooklyn History With the Municipal Art Society This Month

Photo by Susan De Vries

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    You can pick up some new tidbits of fascinating borough history without leaving your home with a slate of virtual tours during this last full month of summer.

    The tours from the Municipal Art Society offer a mix of architectural and social history covering mansions, seaside entertainment and even presidential drama.

    First up is a look at some of the grand homes of Brooklyn with historian Matt Postal’s “Brooklyn Mansion” tour. The tour on Thursday, August 13 includes houses from Greenpoint to Prospect Park South and will explore a range of architectural styles from architects like William B. Tubby, John Petit and Montrose Morris.

    If you want to explore some presidential history, join Brownstoner columnist Suzanne Spellen (aka Montrose Morris) on Saturday, August 15 for tales of Ulysses S. Grant and his connections to Brooklyn. From getting conned in a business investment in Brooklyn Heights to the battle over a statue in his memory, “Ulysses S. Grant – Alive and Dead in Brooklyn” will delve into some of the little-known stories of Grant in the borough.

    flatbush kings theatre

    Kings Theatre, Flatbush. Photo by Susan De Vries

    For those craving some time at the seaside, architectural historian Melanie Macchio will be leading “Lost Seaside Resorts of Brighton Beach” on Saturday, August 22. The neighborhood known as Little Odessa was once a warm weather playground with casinos, racetracks and theaters, and Macchio will be sharing stories of those who played and made and lost their fortunes there.

    To get a handle on the centuries of history behind one Brooklyn neighborhood, join Zach Rhodes for “400 Years of Flatbush” on Saturday, August 20. The virtual visit will include a look at the transformation of the former farmland and some of the architectural landmarks that define the neighborhood.

    All tours are $20, $10 for MAS members. For the exact tour times and ticket information check out the MAS tour page online.

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