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Crown Heights and Weeksville
by Wilhelmena Rhodes Kelly
Vintage images document the historical transformations of Crown Heights and Weeksville.
The communities of Crown Heights and Weeksville are historically significant Brooklyn neighborhoods with foundations that trace back to New York’s early founding. Revolutionary War skirmishes took place there, and following the emancipation of slaves in 1827, Weeksville became the site of one of New York’s earliest independent African American townships. The hills of Brooklyn’s Green Mountains hindered early settlement, and as a result a plethora of community institutions instead abounded in this far-flung outpost, including a penitentiary, hospitals, almshouses, old-age homes, convents, and monasteries. Traces of some of these early structures still remain. Using vintage images, Crown Heights and Weeksville chronicles the dynamic evolution of this area from rural township to the desirable center of culture, urban convenience, and architectural beauty.