The middle of the 20th century saw a series of changes all under the umbrella of “urban renewal,” which included mass condemnation and reclamation of land in Downtown Brooklyn and Fort Greene. Though much of this change was destructive, leading to the displacement of manufacturing, jobs, and people from the area, Kingsview has always been a bright spot.
Gerard Swope, then the CEO of General Electric, had voluntarily instituted many labor reforms including unemployment insurance and profit-sharing, and had worked on major parts of Roosevelt’s New Deal. He was passionate about middle class housing, and got involved with urban planner Robert Moses and housing activist Louis Pink in an attempt to build privately funded middle class housing towers in Brooklyn and Queens. One of these projects was Kingsview. Our buildings were designed by the architects Brown Guenther & Booss in the international style. The first shareholders took residence in 1957, Swope and Pink served on the first board, and Eleanor Roosevelt even paid us a visit!
Unlike many housing developments of the day, which were only open to white applicants, Swope and Pink ensured that Kingsview was intentionally integrated from the beginning, and it remains a vibrant, diverse community.
Though founded as a limited equity co-op, Kingsview decided in 2005 to convert to market-rate. Apartments are now bought and sold on the open market, and continue to appreciate in price while still remaining an excellent value given their prime location and generous layouts.
We’re proud of our distinctive history, and many of our residents are active in community affairs and local politics.
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