Marketing Prospect Park South to Brooklyn Buyers in 1900

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When developers snapped up former farmland in Brooklyn, new neighborhoods began sprouting up, offering tree-lined streets and the latest in household design. Developers with a bit of marketing savvy and a belief they knew what home buyers wanted took out advertising in local papers touting the attractions of the new developments.

In 1900, developer Dean Alvord ran a full page advertisement in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle promoting his development, Prospect Park South. Alvord had purchased about 50 acres of land in 1899 and begun planning a neighborhood that, as he claimed in the ad, illustrated “how much of rural beauty can be incorporated within the rectangular limits of the conventional city block.”

He installed streets divided by green parkways, constructed gateposts marked with a “PSP” to brand the new neighborhood, and began construction on picturesque single-family, detached houses.

He boldly stated that his advertisement was “a record of achievement — of things actually accomplished, and not of promises awaiting future development.” Of the accomplishment boasted were no rented houses within the neighborhood, no sales to speculators, streets paved with asphalt and healthy water.

All of this meant, Alvord acknowledged, houses whose prices were “a little higher than our neighbors’, but when you see the place you won’t ask why.”

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