Street Value: Shopping, Planning, and Politics at Fulton Mall offers an in-depth look at one of Downtown Brooklyn's longest redevelopment sagas. Once referred to as the "Fifth Avenue of Brooklyn," Fulton Street was established in the 1880s following the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge and a nearby elevated rail line. This bustling shopping district, running from Flatbush Avenue to Borough Hall, has remained one of the most profitable and well-used thoroughfares in the city. Today Fulton Street's hand-painted signage, custom jewelry and sneaker stores, and many transient vendors offer a rare sampling of independent commerce. Nevertheless, misunderstandings about race, class, and real estate have caused the street to be characterized as "blighted," turning it into a testing ground for urban improvement schemes from the 1920s onward. Recently rezoned, Fulton Street is once again poised for big changes.
This book features a visual tour of the legendary pedestrian mall by photographer Gus Powell, a history of Fulton Street's varied transformations, and interviews with key planners and city officials whose decisions drove its redesign in the 1960s and 2000s. With original and archival documentation--including newspaper clippings, maps, photographs, visual projections, and analyses--it is a guide to Fulton Mall's past, a call to re-envision its future, and a case study for other urban-commercial developments of its kind.