New York City Guide: A Comprehensive Guide to the Five Boroughs of the Metropolis: Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Richmond

By Federal Writers' Project (N.Y.) | Go to book overview

North Brooklyn

WILLIAMSBURG -- GREENPOINT -- BUSHWICK
AND RIDGEWOOD -- STUYVESANT HEIGHTS

Area: East River and Clinton Ave. on the west to Evergreen Cemetery and the borough line on the east; Fulton St. north to Newtown Creek.

Principal highways: Broadway, Bushwick Ave., and Fulton St.

Transportation: BMT Jamaica subway, Marcy Ave. to Eastern Parkway stations; 8th Ave. (Independent) Queens-Brooklyn crosstown subway, Fulton St. to Greenpoint Ave. stations; Fulton St. el, Nostrand to Ralph Ave. stations.

NORTH BROOKLYN is an old, neglected, working-class residential area, built largely around the industrial centers along the East River and Newtown Creek -- where Havemeyer, Bliss, Pratt, Arbuckle, Bossert, and Cooper made fortunes in sugar, coffee, lumber, ships, oil, and glue. Williamsburg and Greenpoint are virtually unrelieved slums; Bushwick, Ridgewood, and parts of Stuyvesant Heights achieve a slightly genteel air, a reminder of their more prosperous days in the late nineteenth century.

WILLIAMSBURG, the area extending fanwise from the Williamsburg Bridge to Flushing and Bushwick Avenues, has a large polyglot population. The neighborhood, formerly the most congested residential area in Brooklyn, has lost some sixty thousand inhabitants since the 1920's. Here, with the erection in 1936-7 of Williamsburg Houses, a PWA construction project, began Brooklyn's first experiment in large-scale low-rent housing.

Originally part of the town of Bushwick, Williamsburg was founded about 1810 and named for a Colonel Williams, the engineer who surveyed it. About 1819 Noah Waterbury established a distillery at the foot of South Second Street, the first industrial plant in the locality. Williamsburg in the middle-nineteenth century was a popular resort; its hotels near the Brooklyn Ferry attracted a wealthy, cosmopolitan crowd, including such gourmets and sportsmen as Commodore Vanderbilt, Jim Fisk, and William C. Whitney. With the opening of the Williamsburg Bridge in 1903 and the resultant influx of immigrant families from overcrowded Manhattan, the district's affluence vanished.

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New York City Guide: A Comprehensive Guide to the Five Boroughs of the Metropolis: Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Richmond
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Editorial Staff of the New York City Guide vi
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations and Maps xi
  • Plan of the Guide xix
  • General Information 3
  • Annual Events 42
  • Manhattan 47
  • Manhattan 49
  • Lower Manhattan 57
  • Middle West Side 144
  • Middle and Upper East Side 182
  • The Harlems 253
  • Upper West Side and Northern Manhattan 271
  • Major Points of Interest 307
  • The Harbor, the Rivers, and Their Islands 408
  • The Harbor and Its Islands 409
  • The Rivers and the River Islands 418
  • Brooklyn 429
  • Brooklyn 431
  • Downtown Brooklyn 440
  • North Brooklyn 455
  • West Brooklyn 463
  • Middle Brooklyn 476
  • East Brooklyn 496
  • The Bronx 507
  • The Bronx 509
  • West Bronx 517
  • Middle Bronx 529
  • East Bronx 542
  • Queens 553
  • Queens 555
  • North Queens 562
  • Middle Queens 574
  • South Queens 587
  • Richmond 595
  • Richmond 597
  • East and South Richmond 603
  • North and West Richmond 617
  • New York World's Fair 1939 625
  • New York World's Fair 1939 627
  • Books About New York 649
  • Index 661
  • Index to New York World's Fair 1939 705
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