Right in the center of all the action, Downtown Brooklyn is the largest business district in Brooklyn. Distinguished by its commercial buildings and 20th-century architecture, Downtown Brooklyn was recently designated as the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District. Located in the northwestern section of Brooklyn, Downtown Brooklyn stretches from Cadman Plaza to Navy Street and from the Brooklyn Queens Expressway to Hoyt Street.
Downtown Brooklyn was sparsely populated until the early 19th century, when Robert Fulton's new steam ferry made commuting to downtown Manhattan a more viable option. As New York began to grow in the mid-19th century, manufacturing and shipping branched out to Brooklyn, a trend that increased following the construction of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.
Today, warehouses and factories have started to give way to a growing residential neighborhood. Some of Downtown Brooklyn's most famous buildings include the MetroTech Center and Brooklyn Borough Hall, which, along with the Federal and Kings County Courthouses, transformed the area into a government center and a thriving area of commerce. Another historical building, now known as the Howard Building of CUNY, was once the 1915 Sperry Gyroscope Company building.
As "DoBro" becomes increasingly more residential, new luxury developments are popping up in the area, namely the striking 38-story Toren; the 1.8 million-square-foot development City Point, which will house residential, retail and office spaces; Skylight One Hansen, an Art Deco masterpiece located inside the former Williamsburgh Savings Bank Clocktower; and Oro, a luxury development that boasts gorgeous views of Manhattan via the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.
There's always something to do in this hub of Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Bridge Park offers concerts and food trucks all summer long, with the Manhattan skyline as the perfect companion. The Brooklyn Heights Promenade is a popular gathering spot for leisurely strolling and waterfront gazing.
Popular activities include shopping for fresh, local produce at the Borough Hall Greenmarket and taking in world-class music and theatrical productions at "BAM" - the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Fulton Mall offers a number of shops and restaurants, not to mention the famous Brooklyn Tabernacle and its remarkable choir. The recent addition of the Barclays Center, home to the Brooklyn Nets, has already attracted an influx of new residents and visitors. Best of all, the neighborhood is served by the Atlantic Terminal, offering service to just about every train in the city.