Map and Photos of Clinton Hill During the 19th century, Clinton Hill was home to some of the city's wealthiest residents: the Underwoods (typewriters), the Pfizers and Bristols (pharmaceuticals) and Charles Pratt, the oil magnate. Pratt built several mansions in Clinton Hill, one for himself, and four others for his sons as wedding presents. His own mansion, built at 232 Clinton Avenue in 1874, is now part of St. Joseph's College. After Pratt built his five mansions, many other wealthy Brooklynites began to build in the area, and Clinton Hill became a center of Brooklyn's social scene.
The neighborhood is named after 10-term mayor and 3-term governor De Witt Clinton who managed to get the Erie Canal built, despite tremendous opposition from his political colleagues. Built between 1817 and 1832, the canal opened a navigable water route from the Atlantic Ocean all the way to the Great Lakes. Clinton was also an abolitionist, and he advocated public education, city planning, public sanitation, and assistance for the poor.
Our primary source for neighborhood names and locations is the
New York City Department of City Planning. Additional information is from Kenneth Jackson and John B.
Manbeck's book The Neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Brooklyn by Name by Leonard Benardo and Jennifer Weiss. Neighborhood boundaries, where shown, are approximate, and are often a matter of great local debate and dissent. You can send us YOUR opinion by using the feedback link below...
Some neighborhood descriptions are adapted from content appearing on Wikipedia.org.
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