Northwest Brooklyn

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Northwest Brooklyn is probably the second most desirable area to live in besides anywhere on Manhattan Island. The neighborhood is filled with charming historic districts, trendy cafés and eateries, eclectic shops, vibrant ethnic communities, ample green space, a flourishing arts community, and hip night spots and watering holes. Its turn of the century mansions are some of the most sought after real estate in the city.


Northwest Brooklyn Neighborhoods

Brooklyn Heights

Location: Old Fulton Street to Atlantic Avenue

The neighborhood is largely composed of block after block of picturesque rowhouses and a few mansions. A great range of architectural styles is represented, including a few Federal-style houses from the early 19th century in the northern part of the neighborhood, brick Greek Revival and Gothic Revival houses, and Italianate brownstones. A number of houses, particularly along Pierrepont Street and Pierrepont Place are authentic mansions. Brooklyn Heights was the first neighborhood protected by the 1965 Landmarks Preservation Law of New York City. Approximately 22,594 people call the neighborhood home. Among them are many celebrities and notable figures in the arts and literature.

Brooklyn Navy Yard

Location: Navy Street at Flushing and Kent Avenues

Brooklyn Navy Yard is more a commercial area rather than a residential neighborhood. They shipyard was operated by the U.S. Navy from 1801 to 1966 when the federal government closed the yard and left it to commercial shipbuilding and dry dock interests. The commercial shipping interests peaked in 1979 and have since been on the decline.

The Yard has become an area of private manufacturing and commercial activity. Today, more than 200 businesses operate at the Yard and employ approximately 5,000 people. Brooklyn Grange Farms operates a 45,000 square feet (4,200 m2) commercial farm on top of Building 3. Steiner Studios is one of the yard's more prominent tenants with one of the largest production studios outside of Los Angeles. Many artists also lease space and have established an association called Brooklyn Navy Yard Arts. In November 2011, Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92, a museum dedicated to the yard's history and future, opened its doors. The Yard has three piers and a total of 10 berths ranging from 350 to 890 feet (270 m) long, with ten-foot deck height and 25 to 40 feet (7 to 12 meters) of depth alongside. The drydocks are now operated by GMD Shipyard Corp.

Many of the buildings in the area have been given landmark status, ensuring that the historic nature of the neighborhood is respected and preserved.

Clinton Hill

Location: Fulton Street between Franklin Avenue and Classon Avenue

Clinton Hill is home to the Pratt Institute, brownstones, and beautiful late 19th century mansions. The area is a mecca for students, creatives, and families seeking a more affordable alternative to Manhattan, or even from neighboring Fort Greene. Home to brownstone-restoration enthusiasts, Clinton Hill is also celebrated for an ever-increasing number of foodie restaurants and independent boutiques. Due in part to the presence of Pratt Institute the neighborhood boasts an increasing arts community, and many bohemians are flocking towards the yet-to-be gentrified industrial areas adjacent to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The district is well known for its abundance of townhouses and brownstones, constructed during or after the Civil War. Its tree-lined streets are similar to both Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights, with its prominent Italianate and Beaux-Arts styles. Much of the neighborhood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Plymouth Street, DUMBO, Brooklyn.

Downtown Brooklyn

Location:  Atlantic Avenue and Brooklyn Queens Expressway between Cadman Plaza West and Ashland Place

Until the rezoning enacted in 2004, Downtown Brooklyn served primarily as a business district and civic center for the borough of Brooklyn. The neighborhood is still the third largest commercial center in the city (Lower and Midtown Manhattan precede it), but now its commercial towers are joined by residential towers, condos, towhnhouses, and co-op developments. Major attractions of the neighborhood include the MetoTech Center which is the nation's largest urban university-industry science and technology park and the Fulton Mall which is an open air shopping mall with its street closed to all street traffic save for the MTA bus. MetroTech boasts an impressive list of corporate, non-profit, and civic tenants and it maintains a privately owned public space called MetroTech Commons which is at the heart of the development. Fulton Mall is located on Fulton Street between Flatbush Avenue and Adams Street. It is home to over 230 stores including most major retailers.

Other amenities include Borough Hall Greenmarket which operates three days a week at the plaza before Borough Hall. It pumps in fresh, sustainable, and organic produce from local farmers to the borough's 2.5 million residents.

As with many rezonings, different interest groups have expressed various feelings about ongoing development in Downtown Brooklyn. Some longtime residents have stated that they feel that an already thriving community is being displaced with higher rents and as new developments rise. Others say that there have been improvements in the cleanliness and safety of the neighborhood since the rezoning.


Location: Between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges

Dumbo, an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, has emerged as one of New York City's premier arts districts, with a cluster of for-profit art galleries such as the Klompching Gallery and such not-for-profit institutions as the St. Ann's Warehouse and the A.I.R. Gallery. It has become a culinary hotspot as businesses such as Chef Jacques Torres' chocolate factory, Grimaldi's, the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, and the The River Café have called the Fulton Landing area of the neighborhood home. This area is also home to a floating venue for classical music called Bargemusic.

Plenty of public space is also available along the waterfront like the Fulton Ferry, Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, and Brooklyn Bridge Park which features plenty of community activities such as exhibits, fairs, theater performances, and free movies during the spring and summer months.

DUMBO is filled with plenty of historic features such as 19th century factories and warehouses and some row houses. Due to its unique location below the two bridges and the charm of the old waterfront features, the city has designated the entire neighborhood a historic district.

Fort Greene

Location: Flushing Avenue, Flatbush Avenue, Vanderbilt Avenue, and Atlantic Avenue

Fort Greene is a historic neighborhood which contains many examples of mid-19th century Italianate and Eastlake architecture. It is known for its many tree-lined streets and elegant low-rise housing.

The late 1990s and early 2000s saw the influx of many new residents and businesses to Fort Greene. While issues of gentrification are raised, Fort Greene stands to many as one of the best examples of a truly racially and economically diverse neighborhood with what The New York Times referred to as a "prevailing sense of racial amity that intrigues sociologists and attracts middle-class residents from other parts of the city. Though the area is preserved as a historic district, there have been a few projects along its borders which have caused controversy over the years. This includes the Atlantic Yards project. The project built a sports arena (known as the Barclays Center) for the New Jersey Nets (now the Brooklyn Nets) and a complex of large commercial and residential high-rises on the border of Fort Greene and Prospect Heights. It had garnered opposition from many neighborhood residents.

Willow Street, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn.

Prospect Heights

Location: Flatbush Avenue, Atlantic Avenue, Eastern Parkway – beginning at Grand Army Plaza, and Washington Avenue

Compared to other Brooklyn neighborhoods, Prospect Heights is relatively small and is notable for its cultural diversity as well as its tree-lined streets. Prospect Heights has seen rapid demographic changes over the last decade, and its shifts are exemplified by a mixture of older buildings under reconstruction, rows of classic 1890s brownstones, and newly built luxury condominiums.

In the northern section of Prospect Heights, are the Vanderbilt Railyards, which could become part of the massive and controversial Atlantic Yards project. The Barclays Center, home to the NBA's Brooklyn Nets basketball team, is located in the northwestern corner of the neighborhood at Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues.

A widely diverse ethnic neighborhood in the 1910s through the 1950s, consisting of Italian, Irish, Jewish, German, Greek and Yankee residents, among others, Prospect Heights is currently well known for its mixed black and white culture. Every year the West Indian Day Parade, the largest annual parade in New York City, follows Eastern Parkway, beginning in Crown Heights and ending at Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Heights. During the last thirty years, the neighborhood has seen an influx of new residents, more frequently young and white than in the recent past, perhaps due to its having had slightly lower real estate prices than neighboring Park Slope. A thriving commercial zone has emerged along Vanderbilt Avenue and Washington Avenue, which in just the last few years has been the location for new bars, restaurants and specialty shops, including New York's first steampunk bar, boutique wine shop and restaurant opened by Michelin-starred chef.

Because of the area's density of Italianate and Neo-Grec rowhouses, much of the neighborhood has been designated as a New York City historic district. The Prospect Heights Historic District covers an area roughly bounded by Flatbush Avenue, Sterling Place, Washington Avenue, and St. Marks Avenue, though a section of the historic district extends as far north as Pacific Street.

Vinegar Hill

Location: East River Waterfront, Front Street, and Bridge Street

Vinegar Hill gets its name from the Battle of Vinegar Hill, an engagement near Enniscorthy during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Originally settled by the Irish, this community has maintained its 19th-century look while facing modernization and development from all sides. It's a six block area East River Waterfront between DUMBO and the Brooklyn Navy Yard that consists primarily of 19th century Federal Style and Greek Revival style homes mixed with industrial buildings. The streets on Hudson Avenue, Plymouth, Water and Front are made of cobblestones. The Vinegar Hill area includes the Vinegar Hill Historic District and is home to the Con Edison Hudson Avenue Substation.

Related Pages

See: Chat Room Index, Brooklyn Neighborhoods Map

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