Neighborhood Guide: The Historic and Lively Crown Heights

Crown Height Basics

welcome to Crown heights, the quaint neighborhood lined with historic sites and brownstones. Recently, when people thought of Crown heights, they think of young people looking for an advantageous rent. Although these people make up a large part of the neighborhood, Crown Heights is rich in history and culture. It’s a cool neighborhood just waiting to be explored.

History of Crown Heights

Crown Heights was largely a rural area for most of its life in New York. However, in the early 1800s, the neighborhood of Weeksville was founded by a group of former black slaves. Weeksville quickly became one of the largest black communities in the country before the Civil War, and many of the historic homes that were built there still stand today.

In the late 1800s, Brooklyn began adding housing for the rapidly growing city, which expanded the neighborhood and added new architecture unique to the area, including grand mansions used as an escape from the bustling life of Manhattan. Brownstones were built soon after. The area was then mostly occupied by the city’s wealthy elite, and it remained so until World War II.

After the war, many drastic changes were made to the infrastructure of the district. This, along with racist practices like blockbusting, led to white flight from the neighborhood in the 1960s. During the civil rights era, the neighborhood’s black and Jewish populations had a turbulent relationship. As detailed in Crown Heights: Blacks, Jews, and the Brooklyn Riot of 1991, these tensions came to a head in 1991, forcing neighborhood leaders to come together and resolve the issues they faced. Today, Crown Heights is a peaceful neighborhood that celebrates its history by overcoming adversity.

Crown Heights Museums and Historic Sites

By Epicgenius – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Crown Heights is full of educational places and experiences. These museums and sites tell an important story and are not to be missed. Some of the best include:

Brooklyn Children’s Museum

This museum is fun for the whole family. They show movies, host special events for the holidays, and have a ton of exhibits that will entertain and educate your kids. This place is awesome, so don’t miss it.

Crown Height North Historic District

This historical part of the neighborhood includes more than 1,000 buildings dating from 1853 to 1942. These buildings consist largely of brownstones, mansions, and a number of churches that have stood the test of time.

Weeksville Heritage Center

Dedicated to preservation and educating people about one of the first free black communities in the United States, Weeksville Heritage Center has a ton of public and educational programs, as well as community building programs like a farmers market.

Where to shop in Crown Heights

Crown Heights has a ton of independent businesses just waiting to be explored. Some of the best shops in the neighborhood include:

hello black girl

This clothing store Black owned and has tons of beautiful women’s clothing. In addition to clothing, they also sell beauty products, specializing in false eyelashes that will make jaws drop every time you step out wearing them.

Kesser hats

This Yeshivah hat company is on a mission to sell affordable hats for special occasions like Bar Mitzvahs. Hats of similar quality and style can cost hundreds or even thousands or dollars, but this place has some amazing hats for under $100.

Hibiscus flower shop

This florist makes seasonal shops that make amazing gifts and decorations no matter what event you’re celebrating. They also provide flowers for major events like proms, weddings, and apologies to your partner.

Where to eat in Crown Heights

Crown Heights is full of delicious restaurants featuring cuisines from around the world. Some of the best include:

Their coffee ($$)

This Haitian restaurant and the juice bar has an extensive menu that offers smaller plates, full meals, and even a ton of vegan options. This place has a fun vibe and a ton to offer. Discover their smoothies and cold drinks!

Alenbi ($$$)

This Israeli restaurant offers an extensive menu inspired by Israeli cuisine from around the world. The menu changes seasonally, so there’s always something new to try here. Signature dishes include kruvit and lamb arayes.


This Asian fusion restaurant has a huge menu with delicious bites. Inspiration was drawn from Thai, Chinese and Japanese cuisine, among others. This fusion is intended to inspire future fusions and create new foodies.

Bars in Crown Heights

Crown Heights has an awesome nightlife. Some of the best bars around include:

The Crown Inn ($$)

pretending to be “Probably the best bar in Brooklyn,” The Crown Inn is a smoky venue with a ton of signature cocktails. The decor makes the place look like a speakeasy and the ambiance ensures you and your friends have a relaxing night.

Yesteryear ($$)

This wine bar has an intimate and chic vibe, and their menu features wines from all over Italy. They even serve hard-to-find natural, or orange, wines. This place also has a menu of delicious dishes.

Bou’ote ($$)

This bar is on the newer side, and offers a ton of classic cocktails, specialty drinks, and kosher dishes that will make your soul sing. They also serve a ton of fresh and delicious pastries that pair well with their strong drinks.

Where to live in Crown Heights

Crown Heights is a great place for families and young professionals looking for more space for better prices. Some of the best places to live here include:

764 St. John Square

This renovated condo dates back to 1910 and is home to twelve magnificent homes ideal for young professionals or small families. Each home has stainless steel appliances, kitchen islands and beautiful hardwood floors. Living rooms and kitchens are open concept.

1582 Prospect Square

This historic home was built in 1910 and has since been converted from a single family home to a multi-family rental property. These homes are enormous, with gorgeous hardwood floors, oversized windows, and stainless steel appliances. The bathrooms have also been modernized.

1226 St. Mark Avenue

This beautiful condo has four stories and eight apartments, which means every house here is a decent size. Many of the homes have private outdoor space, as well as washer and dryer hookups, stainless steel appliances, and beautiful hardwood floors.

562 Park Square

This rental property is ideal for young professionals and features stainless steel appliances, washers and dryers, and updated bathrooms that will make you feel like you’re at the spa. The rooms in these houses are huge.

1296 Park Square

This beautiful brown stone was built in 1901 and has recently been converted into a multi-family condo. Part of Crown Heights’ rich history, this building is beautiful to look at and has all the modern conveniences a family could need.

Crown Heights Parks

By Collin Knopp-Schwyn, CC BY 4.0

There are plenty of great public parks in this neighborhood, each with amazing facilities. Some of the best include:

Prospect Park

Just on the west side of the neighborhood, Prospect Park is one of the largest green spaces in the city. This place has a zoo, botanical gardens, and even historic buildings like the Historic Lefferts House and the Peristyle.

Lincoln Terrace/Arthur S. Somers Park

One of only two parks Named after President Lincoln, this park is known for its pristine tennis courts. This park is definitely a paradise for sports enthusiasts, and also has basketball courts, training equipment and handball courts.

Brower Park

This park is right next door at the Children’s Museum, and has many educational and recreational facilities. There’s a skate park, basketball courts, and even a butterfly garden that hosts special events when the seasons are good.

Traveling to Crown Heights

There are several ways to get around Crown Heights. The neighborhood is fairly easy to navigate, even during the busiest times. Here are some of the best ways to travel:

The trains

The New York City subway system has several train lines that serve the neighborhood, including the 2, 3, 4, 5, and S.

The buses

There are a ton of buses serving this area including the B12, B14, B15, B17, B43, B44, B45, B46, B47, B48, B49 and B65.

Carpooling and bike rental

The streets of Crown Heights are generally free of heavy traffic, which is why ride-sharing apps are very popular here. There are also a number of Citi Bike docking stations and miles of bike paths for those who prefer to cycle around the city. The area is also extremely walkable, making it very easy to explore.

Crown Heights is an awesome neighborhood with a ton of things to do and see. From beautiful architecture to fun nightlife, it’s no wonder so many people want to call this neighborhood home. Even if you have just visited, you will have a great time discovering all the brown stones, visiting a museum and having a delicious meal on a beautiful day. Crown Heights is just waiting to be explored.

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