Wed-Sun, noon-5pm; Mon-Tue, closed
R at Court St.; 2, 3, 4, 5 at Borough Hall
$10; $6 teachers and seniors; free for members, students with valid ID, children under 12
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Founded in 1863 when Brooklyn was its own city (not one of the boroughs), the Brooklyn Historical Society covers 400 years of Brooklyn's development through photographs, paintings, memorabilia and interactive exhibitions. Tucked away on a shaded residential street in Brooklyn Heights, the landmark building was designed by George Post, who also designed the New York Stock Exchange. Unfortunately, by the late 20th century the structure had deteriorated. In 1999, the society underwent a four-year renovation, which included cleaning and restoring its red terra-cotta exterior as well as adding a new gallery space, glass doors, high wooden ceilings and special track lighting. Most of the society's permanent collection can be viewed on the main floor. Its extensive library holds a collection of rare books, periodicals, institutional records (including an original copy of the Emancipation Proclamation), manuscripts and atlases.Tours
Free hour-long tours about the history of Brooklyn are available every Sunday at 1 p.m.