2. Weeksville

Weeksville Heritage Center is one of the Crown Heights’ great historical hidden gems. Behind a modern facade and visitor center on the street lies a bucolic and peaceful green space with a row of historic homes known as the Hunterfly Road Houses. Weeksville was founded in 1838 when an African-American longshoreman named James Weeks bought this plot of land in present-day Crown Heights, eleven years after New York State abolished slavery.

Dating back to about 1830, the four historic houses are all individual New York City landmarks and the only surviving structures that remain from a larger development. They sit along the former Hunterfly Road, which may have followed an old Indian trail all the way out to Jamaica Bay until it was closed off sometime in the later 19th century. Equally importantly, it is believed that Weeksville held an important role along the Underground Railroad. Get more information about the Weeksville Heritage Center here.