Brownstoner takes on Brooklyn history in Nabe Names, a series of briefs on the origins and surprising stories of neighborhood nomenclature.
Built atop a bluff, Brooklyn Heights is one of the borough’s most affluent, star-studded ‘hoods.
New York’s first-ever historic district, Brooklyn Heights earned its protected status in 1965 through its varied stock of row houses, mansions and pre-Civil War homes. The history-rich area has some of Kings County’s oldest streets and residences, with renovated carriage homes and even a cobblestone street or two.
Originally named Clover Hill back when it was pasture land, Brooklyn Heights went on to become New York’s first suburb, with residents commuting to Manhattan via ferry. The neighborhood’s current name refers to the area’s elevation, an attribute observed by both settlers and the native Lenape people, who called the area Ihpetonga, meaning “the high sandy bank.”
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