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Guide to the Robert Vadheim Brooklyn neighborhood renewal and development collection 1987.002

128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Tiffany Tyau-Wong

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on March 21, 2015
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Finding aid revised and entered into Archivists' Toolkit by Weatherly Stephan.  , March 11, 2011

Biographical note

Dr. Robert Vadheim (1920-2010), a physician, was a longtime resident of Brooklyn. Vadheim and his partner Robert Johnson moved to Brooklyn Heights in 1964. During the 1960s, he became an active member of the Brooklyn community, promoting historic preservation and the revitalization of Brooklyn neighborhoods. Vadheim also volunteered and made philanthropic contributions to local institutions such as the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and the Brooklyn Museum. His donations led to significant preservation projects in Brooklyn Heights, such as the restoration of stained glass windows at the Church of St. Ann and the Holy Trinity, and the installation of a working timepiece on the clock tower of the Brooklyn Historical Society's building. In 2005, Vadheim received the Brooklyn Heights Association's Award for Extraordinary Community Service. His donations to the Brooklyn Historical Society include works of art and manuscript collections that document changes in Brooklyn and its surroundings during the mid to late 20th century.


  1. Surratt, Jerl. "Dr. Robert Vadheim, Enthusiast of Heights Preservation, Dies at 90." Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 11, 2010.

Historical note

The borough of Brooklyn, N.Y. began experiencing significant surges of change and renewal in the 1960s. Efforts to renovate and preserve Brooklyn's diverse landscapes were sparked by local concern for neighborhoods suffering from neglect or in need of preservation, and by general interests in Brooklyn's history, architecture, and geographic location. Proposals for urban renewal garnered support not only from Brooklynites, but from outside land developers, business investors, and potential home owners attracted by the intact federal and Victorian houses in Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Fort Greene, Flatbush, and Crown Heights. The steady renewal of buildings and physical landscapes in the 1970s and 1980s drew new attention and financial interests to Brooklyn as new resident populations and businesses began moving into the borough's neighborhoods. As renewal efforts continued, property values rose and continued to rise as revitalization continued.