Stretching from Orange Street to the north to Remsen Street to the south, this 1/3-mi-long sliver of park hangs above Brooklyn's industrial waterfront like one of Babylon's fabled gardens. Cantilevered over two lanes of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, the esplanade offers enthralling views of the Manhattan skyline. Brooklyn Heights boasts not only the amazing views of lower Manhattan but also brownstone mansions that located anywhere on Fifth Avenue. As you walk along, small memorials for the World Trade Center still adorn its space. Many residents watched the tragedy unfold less than two miles away.
Today's Brooklyn Heights is also a monument to the history of New York and the United States. Europeans first appeared here in 1645 and formed the settlement of "Breuckelen" near the site of today's Borough Hall. The word Breuckelen, meaning marsh land, is considered to come from Holland, where the settlers originated. The bluffs of Brooklyn Heights attracted Manhattan's early merchants, who built the first mansions here.
As New York and Brooklyn turned into the heart of the new United States, Brooklyn Heights became the place for many of New York's wealthiest investors. With its population increased, Brooklyn became a city in 1833.
Brooklyn Heights became also a source to literary aspirations. In 1855, Walt Whitman printed the first pages of his well-known book of poetry, Leaves of Grass. Truman Capote created his masterpieces, "In Cold Blood" and "Breakfast at Tiffany's," in his apartment on Willow Street. And today, Norman Mailer still lives and works at his home along the Promenade.
In January, 2006 the 85-acre park gained unanimous approval from the Empire State Development Corporation, with new park construction to begin in 2007. Stretching over a mile on the shore of the East River, the new park will include today's existing parkland under the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges and replace Piers 1 to 6 with floating pathways, fishing piers, beaches, playgrounds and restored habitats.