Crown Heights, for the most part a lower middle-class residential area, lies on both sides of the ridge of Eastern Parkway. The section was known as Crow Hill until 1916, when Crown Street was cut through.
Brooklyn Children's Museum, Brooklyn Avenue and Park Place, was the first of its kind in the world. (Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 2 to 5 p.m.; admission free.) Founded in 1899 by the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, it is housed in two rambling old dwellings in Brower Park. An average of five hundred thousand children come here each year to study the collections, contributed by the institute, and to take part in actual geological, botanical, or ethnological research under the guidance of trained staff members. Lectures and educational movies are scheduled throughout the year. Almost all the exhibits may be handled by children.
The exhibits include stuffed birds and animals, collections of insects and minerals, examples of handicraft and costume design, and models depicting such scenes as the primitive hunter with his spear, Galileo at his telescope, Bach at the clavichord, and important incidents in American history.