Published April 07, 2022⏱️
5 min read
Our block association has a rich history extending back over 65 years to its founding in 1956. We've started this digital archive to preserve and share some of that history. Many of the items in this archive were sourced from paper files of current and past PPUABA officers. If you have older documents or photos related to PPUABA, early residents of our 4 blocks, or other items worthy of preserving and sharing, please allow us to add them to our Archive. Email Marc Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll get your material scanned, added to the Archive and return the originals to you.
Our tradition of a spring block party goes back a long time... Here are materials from block parties as far back as 1971 - 50+ years ago!
Events: Between the Door and the Street
On Saturday, October 19, 2013, Creative Time and the Brooklyn Museum presented Between the Door and the Street, a major work by celebrated artist Suzanne Lacy. Some 400 women and a few men - selected to represent a cross-section of ages, backgrounds, and perspectives – gathered on the stoops of Park Place between Vanderbilt and Underhill Avenues, where they engaged in unscripted conversations about a variety of issues related to gender politics. Thousands of members of the public came out to wander among the groups, listen to what they were saying, and form their own opinions. Read more about this unique event here. You can watch several videos of the event here, here, here and here, and find photos here.
Intersection | Prospect Heights
The Intersection | Prospect Heights project explores the meaning of neighborhood places and rapid change through the eyes of residents of one Brooklyn, New York neighborhood. Neighbors first gave "tours" to artist and urbanist Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani in the early 2000s when she asked "Where is your Prospect Heights?" In 2015, these stories were brought back to the neighborhood in a series of "guidebooks" that popped up in exhibitions in everyday neighborhood places (like the supermarket) and a series of creative walking tours. These let people take a new look at the present through experiences of the not-too-distant past. In our Archives, find the 7 "guidebooks" (including one featuring Park Place neighbor David Whitbeck) as well as a post by Park Place neighbor Robin Ketchum. You can learn more about the project at the Intersection | Prospect Heights website, here.
From Nov 1985 until shortly before her death in May 2010, neighbor Vera Saeedpour operated the Kurdish Library on the parlor floor of her brownstone at 144 Underhill Avenue. The library was the first of its kind in North America and housed an expansive collection of rare books, maps, costumes and other artifacts of the Kurdish people of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.
Meeting minutes and agendas
If you're interested in knowing about the topical issues of the day on our blocks 20+ years ago, check out the archive of meeting minutes and agendas. Also see the archive of Newsletters below.
In this section of the Archive we have a collection of interesting articles and artifacts on various topics relevant to our block association, including
- Installation of Tree Guards 2010-2013
- Underhill Playground re-development
- Other items.
In addition to the more recent newsletters posted in the PPUABA Newsletters article on the website, the Archive contains older newsletters, going back as far as 1987. (We're missing many older issues, so if you have copies that aren't in the Archive, please allow us to scan and add them).
Obituaries and Remembrances
The four blocks of our block association have been home to many lovely neighbors over the years. Read obituaries or remembrances of some of our former neighbors here. If you have an obituary or remembrance of a former PPUABA member that you would like included here, please contact Marc Gordon at email@example.com.
Photos and Videos
Who doesn't enjoy looking at old photographs?
- Underhill Avenue neighbor Matthew Weinstein has been the block association's 'unofficial photographer' for over a decade. See Matt's PPUABA photo gallery here.
- Here are the beginnings of a collection of other photos (and videos) taken over the years by other PPUABA photographers.
- And you can see Park Place neighbor Robin Ketchum's collection of photographs of Vanderbilt Avenue as it appeared in 1982 here.
- Finally, you can see a photograph of nearly every building in NYC, taken from 1939-1941 by the NYC Tax Department, here.
And here are some lovely videos:
- Park Place neighbor Rhoda Westerman-Hill is featured in and narrates this New York Times video from July 4, 2014, about the "Wedding Watchers of Grand Army Plaza"
- In the fall of 1987, Prospect Heights block associations gathered on Underhill Avenue between Park Place and Prospect Place for the Underhill Playground Street Fair. This video, shot by Park Place resident Rick Roth, captures the event beautifully.
Park Place neighbor and long time resident Robin Ketchum donated a trove of materials about Prospect Heights to the Center for Brooklyn History (now a part of the Brooklyn Public Library). You can request access to the Robin Ketchum Prospect Heights Community Organizing Collection at the BPL's Center for Brooklyn History, Brooklyn Collection, 128 Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights.