Preservationists Share Tales of ‘Old Brooklyn Heights’ Author Clay Lancaster

Brooklyn Heights. Photo by Susan De Vries


    The name Clay Lancaster should be familiar to Brooklyn Heights history aficionados. The historian and preservation advocate was the author behind the classic tome “Old Brooklyn Heights: America’s First Suburb.”

    Brooklyn Heights residents worked with Lancaster in the 1950s and 1960s as the neighborhood pushed for the passage of New York Landmark’s Law and the designation of the Brooklyn Heights Historic District. You can hear from two of those advocates, Otis and Nancy Pearsall, as they join Anthony C. Wood of the New York Preservation Archive Project for a Zoom chat about working with Lancaster and his larger legacy. In addition to his work in Brooklyn Heights, Lancaster served as the curator of Prospect Park and was a prolific author.

    The chat takes place on Wednesday, May 20 at 3:45 p.m. To RSVP and get the Zoom check-in details, drop an email to in advance.

    If you want to check out Lancaster’s work before the chat, NYPAP has put a 1960s Brooklyn Heights slide show compiled by Lancasters online.

    Editor’s note: The author is a NYPAP board member.

    Related Stories

    Sign up for amNY’s COVID-19 newsletter to stay up to date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York City. Email with further comments, questions or tips. Follow Brownstoner on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.


    Brooklyn in Your Inbox

    * indicates required

    What's Happening