Brooklyn Historical Society logo

Guide to the Downtown Brooklyn Development Association records 1979.021

128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11201
718-222-4111
library@brooklynhistory.org


Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Katherine Christensen

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on September 13, 2016
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Additional processing by John Zarrillo  , January 2015

Descriptive Summary

 
Creator: Downtown Brooklyn Development Association.
Title: Downtown Brooklyn Development Association records
Dates [inclusive]: 1929 to circa 1985
Abstract: This collection comprises the subject files of the Downtown Brooklyn Development Association. The association was founded in 1929 as a civic group concerned with the problems of the business and shopping center in downtown Brooklyn. The papers are news clippings, correspondence, brochures, newsletters, pamphlets, legislative documents, photographs, city plans and maps, and other items relating to organizations and causes with which the association was involved. The majority of the documents were produced by external bodies or individuals but were integral the association's activities. The three subjects most comprehensively addressed are the development of the Brooklyn Civic Center (Cadman Plaza), the redevelopment of Fulton Street, and traffic and transportation.
Quantity: 4.75 linear feet in nine manuscript boxes and one oversize folder
Call Phrase: 1979.021

Return to Top »


Historical Note

The Downtown Brooklyn Development Association was founded in 1929 as a civic group concerned with the problems of the business and shopping center in downtown Brooklyn. Their slogan was “In the interest of a better downtown Brooklyn.” The association closely monitored legislative activities which would assist or hinder the businesses in the area and organized support or opposition where necessary. They focused on attracting business owners and shoppers to Brooklyn through improved traffic and transit, redevelopment of the governmental buildings at Cadman Plaza, and beautification projects. The directors and officers of the association were comprised of prominent local business owners and presidents, vice-presidents, and chairmen of businesses including The Dime Savings Bank of Brooklyn, Abraham & Straus, Inc., the Brooklyn Eagle, Pyle-Gray Real Estate Co., the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corp., the Brooklyn Union Gas Company, the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, and the New York Telephone Company.

Return to Top »


Scope and Contents

This collection comprises the subject files of the Downtown Brooklyn Development Association. The papers are news clippings, correspondence, brochures, newsletters, pamphlets, legislative documents, photographs, city plans and maps, and other items relating to organizations and causes with which the association was involved or which the association sponsored. The majority of the documents were produced by external bodies or individuals but were integral the association's activities. The only materials produced by the members of the association are copies of correspondence. The three subjects most comprehensively addressed are the development of the Brooklyn Civic Center (Cadman Plaza), the redevelopment of Fulton Street, and traffic and transportation.

With regard to the Civic Center, the documents cover the renovation and construction of Borough Hall and the court houses as well as other buildings and facilities in the area such as the Red Cross building, Brooklyn Law School, the public library, and parking structures. The papers discussing the redevelopment of Fulton Street primarily address the removal of the elevated train and the development of the area as a downtown Brooklyn shopping district. The papers regarding traffic and transportation issues are tied in with Robert Moses. He was influential in the development of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, and the Verazano Narrows Bridge, all of which were concerns of the Downtown Brooklyn Development Association. There are also papers which address the three lines of the subway system: the Independent Subway System, the Interborough Rapid Transit Company, and the Brooklyn Manhattan Transit Corporation.

Although the main interest of the association was the Brooklyn Heights area, they were also concerned with other areas of Brooklyn. This is predominately shown in the traffic files, but there are also papers concerning the redesign of the Pratt Institute Campus in Fort Green and information throughout multiple files on Prospect Park and the neighborhood of Park Slope. The only folder which is designated solely to the administrative concerns of the association is the Resignations folder. This contains correspondence from member businesses declining to continue their membership.

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Return to Top »


Access Points

Subject Names

  • Blum, Robert E.
  • Bourke-White, Margaret, 1904-1971
  • Davenport, Henry J.
  • Moses, Robert, 1888-1981
  • Roscoe, Andrew S.
  • Stamm, Godfrey A.
  • Swift, Thomas A.

Document Type

  • Blueprints (reprographic copies)
  • Brochures
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Correspondence
  • Legislative hearings
  • Maps
  • Negatives (photographic)
  • Newsletters
  • Pamphlets
  • Photographs
  • Press releases
  • Resolutions (administrative records)
  • Speeches

Subject Organizations

  • Abraham & Straus.
  • American Red Cross.
  • Better Business Bureau of New York City.
  • Brooklyn Borough Hall (New York, N.Y.).
  • Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.).
  • Brooklyn daily eagle.
  • Brooklyn Law School.
  • Brooklyn Public Library.
  • Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Company.
  • Citizens Budget Commission (New York, N.Y.).
  • Citizens Union Foundation (New York, N.Y.).
  • Citizens' Zoning Committee, Inc..
  • Downtown Brooklyn Development Association.
  • Ebbets Field (New York, N.Y.).
  • Independent Subway System (New York, N.Y.).
  • Interborough Rapid Transit Company.
  • New York (N.Y.). City Planning Commission.
  • New York (N.Y.). Dept. of Commerce and Industrial Development.
  • New York (N.Y.). Dept. of Correction.
  • New York (N.Y.). Dept. of Parks.
  • New York (N.Y.). Dept. of Public Works.
  • New York (N.Y.). Dept. of Traffic.
  • New York (N.Y.). Landmarks Preservation Commission.
  • New York Naval Shipyard.
  • Pratt Institute.
  • Regional Plan Association (New York, N.Y.).
  • Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority.

Subject Topics

  • Central business districts
  • City planning
  • Community centers -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Courthouses -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Local transit -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Parks -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Post office buildings -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Railroads, Elevated
  • Transportation
  • Urban renewal -- New York (State) -- New York

Subject Places

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
  • Brooklyn Heights (New York, N.Y.)
  • Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel (New York, N.Y.)
  • Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (New York, N.Y.)
  • George Washington Bridge (New York, N.Y.)
  • Holland Tunnel (New York, N.Y.)
  • Lincoln Tunnel (New York, N.Y.)
  • Park Slope (New York, N.Y.)
  • Prospect Park (New York, N.Y.)
  • Throgs Neck Bridge (New York, N.Y.)
  • Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (New York, N.Y.)

Return to Top »


Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restriction. Many of the news clippings are fragile, please handle them with care.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright holder unknown. Published materials either within the public domain or expected to enter the public domain after 2018 dependant upon date of publication or date of author’s death. Unpublished materials expected to enter the public domain between 2049 and 2115 dependant upon date of creation.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date (if known); Downtown Brooklyn Development Association records, 1979.021, Box and Folder number; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

These records were collected by the Downtown Brooklyn Development Association (DBDA) and maintained as their subject files until the Long Island Historical Society (LIHS) received them in October, 1975. One additional oversize folder of material was donated to the LIHS by the DBDA, circa 1985.

Processing Information

Materials reviewed by Robert Sink in 1980 under the Brooklyn Rediscovery Project. Further processing by Katherine Christensen in 2009. One additional folder of oversize material added to the collection by John Zarrillo in 2015.

Return to Top »


Container List

Container 1     Title Date
Box: 1 of 9 Abraham and Straus Garage
1958-1959
Box: 1 of 9 American Red Cross
1949-1957
Box: 1 of 9 Annual window dispaly competition
Bulk, 1935-19361929-1936
Box: 1 of 9 Anti-crime committee
1951-1952
Box: 1 of 9 Architectural competition
1941
Box: 1 of 9 Auction sales
1950-1958
Box: 1 of 9 Better Business Bureau
1946-1957
Box: 1 of 9 Better Government in New York
1952-1956
Box: 1 of 9 Borough Hall
1948-1963
Box: 1 of 9 Brooklyn Airlines Terminal
1946-1950
Box: 1 of 9 Brooklyn Baseball Club
1957
Box: 1 of 9 Brooklyn Battery Tunnel
1938-1940
Box: 1 of 9 Brooklyn Battery Tunnel
1950-1951
Box: 1 of 9 Brooklyn Battery Tunnel Plan Photographs
no date
Box: 1 of 9 Brooklyn Bridge Plaza
Bulk, 19351931-1941
Box: 1 of 9 Brooklyn Bridge Plaza Plan Photograph
no date
Box: 2 of 9 Brooklyn Bridge Reopening
1954
Box: 2 of 9 Brooklyn Civic Center
1952-1955
Box: 2 of 9 Brooklyn Civic Center
1954-1955
Box: 2 of 9 Brooklyn Civic Center, Brochure
1952-1955
Box: 2 of 9 Brooklyn Heliport
1954-1961
Box: 2 of 9 Brooklyn Navy Yard
1963-1966
Box: 2 of 9 Brooklyn Navy Yard
1966-1970
Box: 3 of 9 Brooklyn Public Library
1941-1956
Box: 3 of 9 Brooklyn-Queens Expressway
Bulk, 1956-19681943-1968
Box: 3 of 9 Brooklyn War Memorial
1945-1951
Box: 3 of 9 Buses
1934-1942
Box: 3 of 9 Carpenter, J. Henry
1949-1954
Box: 3 of 9 Census, Federal (New York City)
1955
Box: 3 of 9 Citizens Budget Commission
1948-1957
Box: 3 of 9 Citizens Conference on City Planning
1942-1952
Box: 3 of 9 Citizens Union
1951-1953
Box: 3 of 9 Citizens Zoning Committee
1942-1953
Box: 4 of 9 City Planning Commission
1940-1959
Box: 4 of 9 Committee on Planning and Zoning
1941-1943
Box: 4 of 9 Community College
1952-1955
Box: 4 of 9 Concord Village
1949-1955
Box: 4 of 9 Cross Brooklyn Expressway
1965-1969
Box: 4 of 9 Department of Air pollution and control
1957
Box: 4 of 9 Detention, Brooklyn House of
1956-1957
Box: 4 of 9 Directomat
1956, no date
Box: 4 of 9 Domestic Relations Court (Brooklyn)
April 4, 1956
Box: 4 of 9 Education, Board of
1956
Box: 4 of 9 Estimate, Board of
November 14, 1956
Box: 4 of 9 Facts about Brooklyn- Family Income Data
1950-1958
Box: 4 of 9 Facts about Brooklyn- Family Income Data
1957-1966
Box: 5 of 9 Federal Building
1951-1952
Box: 5 of 9 Five counties
1952-1957
Box: 5 of 9 Fluoridation- Information materials
1950-1957
Box: 5 of 9 Forsythia Day
1940-1952
Box: 5 of 9 Freedom Train in Brooklyn
1947-1949
Box: 5 of 9 Fulton Street Closing
1957-1959
Box: 5 of 9 Fulton Street elevated
1929-1938
Box: 5 of 9 Fulton Street elevated
1937-1939
Box: 5 of 9 Fulton Street elevated
1940-1941
Box: 5 of 9 Fulton Street elevated
1941-1943
Box: 5 of 9 Fulton Street "EL" Removal Assessments
1941-1943
Box: 6 of 9 Fulton Street "EL" Removal Celebration
1941
Box: 6 of 9 Fulton Street "EL" Removal Clippings
Bulk, 19401929-1943
Box: 6 of 9 Fulton Street "EL" Removal Fund
1937-1939
Box: 6 of 9 Fulton Street "EL" Removal- Mayor's Committee on Removal of EL. Structures in NYC
1935-1937
Box: 6 of 9 Fulton Street Exhibit
1940-1941
Box: 6 of 9 Housing (New), Brooklyn Civic Center
1944-1955
Box: 6 of 9 Kingsview
1952-1955
Box: 6 of 9 Long Island Railroad
1952-1955
Box: 6 of 9 Long Island Railroad Photographs
March 15, 1954
Box: 6 of 9 Manhattan Bridge
1959-1960
Box: 7 of 9 Miscellaneous: Historic Preservation and Landmarks
Bulk, 1961-19701941-1970
Box: 7 of 9 Miscellaneous: History
Bulk, 1954-19661944-1971
Box: 7 of 9 Miscellaneous: Redevelopment
Bulk, 1954-19701944-1970
Box: 7 of 9 Montague Street Library
1951-1954
Box: 7 of 9 Moses, Robert, Parks Commissioner
1951-1954
Box: 7 of 9 Myrtle Avenue "EL" Demolition
1965-1970
Box: 7 of 9 Myrtle Avenue Garage
1952-1955
Box: 7 of 9 Narrows Bridge (Gowanus Expressway)
1954-1961
Box: 7 of 9 Narrows Bridge (Gowanus Expressway) Photographs and Plan Photographs
no date
Box: 7 of 9 Pratt Institute
1952
Box: 8 of 9 Prospect Park Centennial
1965-1966
Box: 8 of 9 Raymond Street Jail Closing
1958-1967
Box: 8 of 9 Red Cross
Bulk, 19521945-1952
Box: 8 of 9 Redevelopment, Boerum Place Widening
1957-1962
Box: 8 of 9 Redevelopment, Federal Court House and Office Building
1956-1964
Box: 8 of 9 Redevelopment, Supreme Court Building (New)
1957-1959
Box: 8 of 9 Redevelopment, Supreme Court Building (Old Site), Brooklyn Law School
1960-1965
Box: 8 of 9 Redevelopment, 215 Montague Street
Bulk, 1957-19591947-1959
Box: 8 of 9 Resignations
1929-1944
Box: 8 of 9 Sales Tax Exemption
1956
Box: 8 of 9 Sidewalks
1929-1942
Box: 9 of 9 Sports Authority, Dodgers Stadium
1956-1957
Box: 9 of 9 Squibb & Sons
1956-1957
Box: 9 of 9 Staples-Smith
1956, no date
Box: 9 of 9 Street Directories for Police Squad
no date
Box: 9 of 9 Subway Stations, Sub-Committee of Redevelopment Committee
1956
Box: 9 of 9 Subway Strike
1957
Box: 9 of 9 Traffic and Transit Committee
1947-1952
Box: 9 of 9 Traffic and Transit Committee
1947-1952
Box: 9 of 9 Traffic and Transit Committee
1953-1954
Box: 9 of 9 Traffic and Transit Photographic Record of Pierpont and Clinton Streets
1947
Box: 9 of 9 Verrazano Narrows Bridge
1962-1969
Box: 9 of 9 York College
1967
Box: OS-22 Oversize material

General note

Contains Brownstoned in Brooklyn 2 pamphlet, Cinderella II pamphlet, Downtown Brooklyn walking tour memo, Wall Street +5 / 111 Livingston Street brochure, and clippings

1969 - circa 1985

Return to Top »