According to the The New York Press in 1899, the Atlantic Docks made the surrounding area of Columbia Heights less desirable for the well-to-do. They left for more "artistic" places, leaving in their wake lower rents for "a cheaper class of people."
Full article text:
"A cheaper class of people is moving into the Columbia Heights district, and rents are lower than they were a few years ago. Many of the old residents have moved into more artistic neighborhoods to get away from the water front, which backs up into Furman Street that sea rabble of the universe. The Atlantic docks have killed the Heights. Their extent and completeness are comparable only with the famous docks of Liverpool. Atlantic Basin, Erie Basin, Red Hook and Gowanus—sweet Gowanus—are not pleasing sights even from rear windows Montague Street, Montague Place, Columbia Place, Pierrepont Street, Pierrepont place, Willow place and other fashionable streets and places along 'The Heights' have had their day. Beacon street will follow when Boston's docks, extend as far up as the Brooklyn Bridge."