I love these old paintings. If only I had a time machine, Brooklyn was quite a beautiful land way back then.
Landscape artist Francis Guy painted “Summer View of Brooklyn” in 1820 from the vantage point of 11 Front Street in today’s DUMBO.
That means this collection of tidy barns and houses would be located under the Brooklyn Bridge. That even looks like a nascent Manhattan skyline, with steeples, in the distance.
Things have changed a lot in 195 years. A summer view of today’s Brooklyn from Front Street would look more like this, with crowds sweltering on line at Grimaldi’s pizza.
Guy painted the same scene from Front Street in winter 1820 as well. The winter scene is more detailed, with various residents working and going about their day.
Who were the hardy Brooklynites he depicted? This key from the Brooklyn Museum decodes their names and which house belonged to who.