The Brooklyn Historical Society dates back to 1863 to preserve and celebrate the rich history of one of America's most important cities. Having outgrown its iconic Brooklyn Heights headquarters, the society now hosts additional exhibitions in a new DUMBO location. Exhibitions at the BHS-Dumbo delve deep into Brooklyn's waterfront lifestyles, beautifully housed in a former waterfront warehouse. A visit to either location will educate and fascinate and make you fall even more in love with this unique neighborhood, but if you have the heart of a longshoreman, head to Dumbo first.

Brooklyn was a dream. All the things that happened there just couldn't happen. It was all dream stuff. Or was it all real and true
- Betty Smith

What You Will See

The 3,200 square-foot gallery space opened in 2017 as an anchor cultural institution in the Empire Stores waterfront redevelopment center. While a visit to the BHS headquarters is still well worth your time, the Dumbo location can be more convenient. Focused specifically on the history of Brooklyn's waterfront, the museum is filled with relics of 19th-century maritime trade: oyster middens, scale replicas of river barges, barrels, ropes, knots, canvas bags, and ship navigation equipment. Select paintings and graphics adorn the walls, and friendly docents are happy to help.

Why You Should Go

The Brooklyn Historical Society is one of the oldest in the country, and its headquarters on Pierrepont Street is the perfect place to experience the varied history of the borough. But if you need more, or if your interests tend towards the maritime, or if you are enjoying the waterfront anyway, add a short trip to the BHS Dumbo to your itinerary and experience what was once the busiest waterfront in the world.

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