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Block by Block, Brooklyn’s Past and Present

Block by Block, Brooklyn’s Past and Present
On my weekly walk to get groceries, I pass a row of brownstones — some well-kempt and majestic, some fossil-like and crumbling — bookended by a gleaming, square-windowed silver tower. It’s an architectural contrast of a kind that’s commonplace throughout Brooklyn. The borough’s a patchwork of the old and new, but traces of its history aren’t spread evenly. There are 320,000-odd buildings in Brooklyn, and I’ve plotted and shaded each of them according to its year of construction. The result is a snapshot of Brooklyn’s evolution, revealing how development has rippled across certain neighborhoods while leaving some pockets unchanged for decades, even centuries. Take a look The NYC Department of City Planning recently released, for free, its PLUTO data set, from which the majority of this data is drawn. Thomas Rhiel is a founding editor of BKLYNR.

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