A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 05, 2008
America’s First Suburb (Brooklyn Heights)

Brooklyn Heights is often called “America’s first suburb.” In the 19th century, Manhattan (New York) and Brooklyn were separate cities and not boroughs of the same city (after the 1898 unification). The title “America’s first suburb” has other claimants throughout America, including areas near New Orleans and Philadelphia and cities in New Jersey.

Levittown on Long Island was created in 1947 and is often called ‘America’s first mass-produced suburb” or “America’s first suburb.”


Wikipedia: Brooklyn Heights
Brooklyn Heights is a neighborhood within the New York City borough of Brooklyn; originally designated through popular reference as ‘Brooklyn Village’, it has, since 1834, become a prominent area of the Brooklyn borough. As of 2000, the Brooklyn Heights sustained a population of 22,493 people. The neighborhood is part of Brooklyn Community Board 2.

Geography
Brooklyn Heights stretches from Old Fulton Street near the Brooklyn Bridge south to Atlantic Avenue and from the East River east to Court Street and Cadman Plaza. Adjacent neighborhoods are: DUMBO, Downtown Brooklyn, Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill. It is directly across the East River from Manhattan, and easily accessible to Downtown and multiple subway lines.

The neighborhood is largely composed of block after block of picturesque rowhouses and a few mansions. A great range of architectural styles are represented, including a few Federal-style houses from the early 19th century in the northern part of the neighborhood, brick Greek Revival and Gothic Revival houses, and Italianate brownstones. A number of houses, particularly along Pierrepont Street and Pierrepont Place are authentic mansions. Brooklyn Heights was the first neighborhood protected by the 1965 Landmarks Preservation Law of New York City. Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims is in Brooklyn Heights. 

Wikipedia: Levittown, New York
Levittown, a suburb of New York City, is a hamlet and unincorporated political subdivision of New York State located on Long Island in Nassau County, New York. As of the 2000 census, the community had a total population of 53,067.

Levittown gets its name from its builder, the firm of Levitt & Sons, Inc., which built it as a planned community between 1947 and 1951. Levittown was the first truly mass-produced suburb and is widely regarded as the archetype for postwar suburbs throughout the country. 

Brooklyn Heights Blog
Dispatches from America’s first suburb

Brooklyn Public Library
Brooklyn Heights: Did you know that Brooklyn Heights was known as America’s first suburb?
View the slideshow | Search the catalog |
Read a related article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle Online™

The South Brooklyn Network
Brooklyn Heights - America’s First Suburb
Brooklyn Heights boasts the greatest views of lower Manhattan and brownstone mansions that rival anything on Fifth Avenue. Considered to be the first suburb in America, the Brooklyn Heights of today is much more than a suburb. It has become one of the most desirable neighborhoods for Manhattanites ready to raise a family. It is a Manhattan neighborhood, located on the better side of the river.

With a five minute commute to the Stock Exchange via subway, many of today’s residents are Wall Street workers looking for more space and neighborhoods with old New York character, something in abundance in the Heights.

The Brooklyn Heights Promenade will take your breath away. The unique park built atop the double decker Brooklyn-Queens Expressway draws tourist worldwide for its spectacular views of the East River bridges and the skyscrapers of Manhattan. As you walk the length, small memorials for the World Trade Center still adorn its space. Many residents watched the tragedy unfold less than two miles away.

As usual, Brooklyn rebounded. The tragedy at the World Trade Center brought many new residents. The housing boom brought new life to many brownstones as renovations skyrocketed. New construction has appeared on nearly every empty lot. And now, with movement increasing in the plans for the massive Brooklyn Bridge Park, the waterfront is set to become a new playground within Brooklyn Heights.

OCLC WorldCat record
Old Brooklyn Heights: New York’s first suburb. Including detailed analyses of 619 century-old houses.
by Clay Lancaster
Type:  Book; English
Publisher: Rutland, Vt., C.E. Tuttle Co. [1961]

30 April 1988, New York (NY) Times, “About New York” by Gregory Jaynes, pg. 33:
“This is often referred to as America’s first suburb,” Mr. Kriskiewicz said of Brooklyn Heights.

12 January 1997, Logansport (IN) Pharos-Tribune, “Levittown, N.Y.,” pg. C1, cal. 4 photo caption:
New residents move into their Levitt homes in Levittown, N.Y., in early October of 1947. The town on New York’s Long Island was America’s first mass-produced suburb.

New York (NY) Daily News
FAIRS & TOURS
Saturday, September 5th 1998, 2:05AM
(...)
Brooklyn Heights: America’s First Suburb. Tomorrow at 11 a.m.; $8, $5 students and seniors; meet at steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall (209 Joralemon St.); (718) 788-8500.

2 January 2005, Boston (MA) Globe, “The Soulless Kiss of Suburbia” by Kate Bolick:
I was surprised to learn recently that my neighborhood, Brooklyn Heights, one train stop in from Manhattan, prides itself on being America’s first suburb.

OCLC WorldCat record
Long Island, the global economy, and race : the aging of America’s first suburb
by Martin R Cantor
Type:  Book; English
Publisher: [New York] : Long Island Development Corp., 2006.

New York (NY) Post
MY KIND OF LEVITTOWN: ‘AMERICA’S 1ST SUBURB’ TURNS 60
AP
September 30, 2007—In 1951, 7-year-old Louise Cassano couldn’t imagine a better life than the one in Levittown, L.I., where she rode her bicycle past rows of cookie-cutter houses, kids held backyard campouts, and nobody locked their front doors.

“It was an absolute ideal community,” said Cassano, whose love affair with Levittown never waned - she still lives in the town dubbed America’s first suburb.

Cassano is among the organizers of a huge 60th birthday party for the Nassau County town, set for today and featuring high school bands, floats, local groups, war veterans and the fire department.

It was October 1947 when developer William Levitt opened the first of what became 17,544 Cape Cod and ranch houses rising from blighted potato fields 40 miles east of New York City, handing post-World War II GIs the keys to their American Dream.

Brownstoner
May 2, 2008
Streetlevel: Ice Cream Could be Fair Game For Sun, Flies
(...)
COMMENTS
You missed commenting on the recent sign on that store.

Not only is Brooklyn Heights “America’s First Suburb” and “New York City’s First Landmark District”, but it’s also home to “America’s First Hagen-Dazs Shoppe, circa 1976”

mmmmmmmm, calories
Posted by: guest at May 2, 2008 2:43 PM

NewYorkology
May 23, 2008
Memorial Weekend on tap: Fleet Week, Bridge events
(...)
Municipal Arts Society walking tour Brooklyn Heights: America’s First Suburb at 2 p.m. as part of the Brooklyn Bridge 125th Anniversary celebrations

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNeighborhoods • (0) Comments • Thursday, June 05, 2008 • Permalink