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Brooklyn

Borough of New York City, New York, United States

Top 10 Brooklyn related articles

Brooklyn

Kings County, New York
Clockwise from top left: Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn brownstones, Soldiers' and Sailors' Arch, Brooklyn Borough Hall, Coney Island
Seal
Motto(s): 
Eendraght Maeckt Maght
("Unity makes strength")
Interactive map outlining Brooklyn
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 40°41′34″N 73°59′25″W / 40.69278°N 73.99028°W / 40.69278; -73.99028Coordinates: 40°41′34″N 73°59′25″W / 40.69278°N 73.99028°W / 40.69278; -73.99028
CountryUnited States
StateNew York
CountyKings (coterminous)
CityNew York City
Settled1634
Named forBreukelen, Netherlands
Government
 • TypeBorough
 • Borough PresidentEric Adams (D)
(Borough of Brooklyn)
 • District AttorneyEric Gonzalez (D)
(Kings County)
Area
 • Total97 sq mi (250 km2)
 • Land70.82 sq mi (183.4 km2)
 • Water26 sq mi (70 km2)
Highest elevation220 ft (70 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total2,504,700[1]
 • Estimate 
(2020 [4])
2,648,452
 • Density35,367.1/sq mi (13,655.3/km2)
 • Demonym
Brooklynite[3]
ZIP Code prefix
112
Area codes718/347/929, 917
GDP (2018)US$91.6 billion[5]
Websitewww.brooklyn-usa.org

Brooklyn (/ˈbrʊklɪn/) is a borough of New York City, coextensive with Kings County, in the U.S. state of New York. It is the most populous county in the state, the second-most densely populated county in the United States,[7] and New York City's most populous borough,[8] with an estimated 2,648,403 residents in 2020.[4] If each borough were ranked as a city, Brooklyn would rank as the third-most populous in the U.S., after Los Angeles and Chicago.

Named after the Dutch village of Breukelen, it shares a land border with the borough of Queens, at the western end of Long Island. Brooklyn has several bridge and tunnel connections to the borough of Manhattan across the East River, and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge connects it with Staten Island. With a land area of 70.82 square miles (183.4 km2) and a water area of 26 square miles (67 km2), Kings County is New York state's fourth-smallest county by land area, and third-smallest by total area.

Brooklyn was an independent incorporated city (and previously an authorized village and town within the provisions of the New York State Constitution) until January 1, 1898, when, after a long political campaign and public relations battle during the 1890s, according to the new Municipal Charter of "Greater New York", Brooklyn was consolidated with other cities, towns, and counties, to form the modern City of New York, surrounding the Upper New York Bay with five constituent boroughs. The borough continues, however, to maintain a distinct culture. Many Brooklyn neighborhoods are ethnic enclaves. Brooklyn's official motto, displayed on the Borough seal and flag, is Eendraght Maeckt Maght, which translates from early modern Dutch as "Unity makes strength".

In the first decades of the 21st century, Brooklyn has experienced a renaissance as a destination for hipsters,[9] with concomitant gentrification, dramatic house price increases, and a decrease in housing affordability.[10] Some new developments are required to include affordable housing units. Since the 2010s, Brooklyn has evolved into a thriving hub of entrepreneurship, high technology start-up firms,[11][12] postmodern art[13] and design.[12]

Brooklyn Intro articles: 24

Etymology

The name Brooklyn is derived from the original Dutch colonial name Breuckelen. The oldest mention of the settlement in the Netherlands, is in a charter of 953 of Holy Roman Emperor Otto I, namely Broecklede.[14] This is a composition of the two words broeck, meaning bog or marshland and lede, meaning small (dug) water stream specifically in peat areas.[15] Breuckelen in the American continent is established in 1646, the name first appeared in print in 1663.[16] The Dutch colonists named it after the scenic town of Breukelen, Netherlands.[17][18]

Over the past two millennia, the name of the ancient town in Holland has been Bracola, Broccke, Brocckede, Broiclede, Brocklandia, Broekclen, Broikelen, Breuckelen and finally Breukelen.[19] The New Amsterdam settlement of Breuckelen also went through many spelling variations, including Breucklyn, Breuckland, Brucklyn, Broucklyn, Brookland, Brockland, Brocklin, and Brookline/Brook-line. There have been so many variations of the name that its origin has been debated; some have claimed breuckelen means "broken land".[20] The final name of Brooklyn, however, is the most accurate to its meaning.[21][22]

Brooklyn Etymology articles: 3

History

The history of European settlement in Brooklyn spans more than 350 years. The settlement began in the 17th century as the small Dutch-founded town of "Breuckelen" on the East River shore of Long Island, grew to be a sizeable city in the 19th century, and was consolidated in 1898 with New York City (then confined to Manhattan and the Bronx), the remaining rural areas of Kings County, and the largely rural areas of Queens and Staten Island, to form the modern City of New York.

Colonial era

New Netherland

The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle Long Island's western edge, which was then largely inhabited by the Lenape, an Algonquian-speaking American Indian tribe often referred to in European documents by a variation of the place name "Canarsie". Bands were associated with place names, but the colonists thought their names represented different tribes. The Breuckelen settlement was named after Breukelen in the Netherlands; it was part of New Netherland. The Dutch West India Company lost little time in chartering the six original parishes (listed here by their later English town names):[23] Gravesend: in 1645, settled under Dutch patent by English followers of Anabaptist Deborah Moody, named for 's-Gravenzande, Netherlands, or Gravesend, England; Brooklyn Heights: as Breuckelen in 1646, after the town now spelled Breukelen, Netherlands. Breuckelen was along Fulton Street (now Fulton Mall) between Hoyt Street and Smith Street (according to H. Stiles and P. Ross). Brooklyn Heights, or Clover Hill, is where the village of Brooklyn was founded in 1816; Flatlands: as Nieuw Amersfoort in 1647; Flatbush: as Midwout in 1652; Nieuw Utrecht in 1652, after the city of Utrecht, Netherlands; and Bushwick: as Boswijck in 1661.

A typical dining table in the Dutch village of Brooklyn, c. 1664, from The Brooklyn Museum

The colony's capital of New Amsterdam, across the East River, obtained its charter in 1653. The neighborhood of Marine Park was home to North America's first tide mill. It was built by the Dutch, and the foundation can be seen today. But the area was not formally settled as a town. Many incidents and documents relating to this period are in Gabriel Furman's 1824 compilation.[24]

Province of New York

Village of Brooklyn and environs, 1766

What is now Brooklyn today left Dutch hands after the English captured the New Netherland colony on 1664, a prelude to the Second Anglo-Dutch War. New Netherland was taken in a naval action, and the English renamed the new capture for their naval commander, James, Duke of York, brother of the then monarch King Charles II and future king himself as King James II; Brooklyn became a part of the Province of New York, which formed one of the Thirteen Colonies.

The six old Dutch towns on southwestern Long Island were reorganized as Kings County on November 1, 1683,[25] one of the "original twelve counties" then established in New York Province. This tract of land was recognized as a political entity for the first time, and the municipal groundwork was laid for a later expansive idea of a Brooklyn identity.

Lacking the patroon and tenant farmer system established along the Hudson River Valley, this agricultural county unusually came to have one of the highest percentages of slaves among the population in the "Original Thirteen Colonies" along the Atlantic Ocean eastern coast of North America.[26]

Revolutionary War

The Battle of Long Island was fought across Kings County.

On August 27, 1776, was fought the Battle of Long Island (also known as the 'Battle of Brooklyn'), the first major engagement fought in the American Revolutionary War after independence was declared, and the largest of the entire conflict. British troops forced Continental Army troops under George Washington off the heights near the modern sites of Green-Wood Cemetery, Prospect Park, and Grand Army Plaza.[27]

Washington, viewing particularly fierce fighting at the Gowanus Creek and Old Stone House from atop a hill near the west end of present-day Atlantic Avenue, was reported to have emotionally exclaimed: "What brave men I must this day lose!".[27]

The fortified American positions at Brooklyn Heights consequently became untenable and were evacuated a few days later, leaving the British in control of New York Harbor. While Washington's defeat on the battlefield cast early doubts on his ability as the commander, the tactical withdrawal of all his troops and supplies across the East River in a single night is now seen by historians as one of his most brilliant triumphs.[27]

The British controlled the surrounding region for the duration of the war, as New York City was soon occupied and became their military and political base of operations in North America for the remainder of the conflict. The British generally enjoyed a dominant Loyalist sentiment from the residents in Kings County who did not evacuate, though the region was also the center of the fledgling—and largely successful—Patriot intelligence network, headed by Washington himself.

The British set up a system of prison ships off the coast of Brooklyn in Wallabout Bay, where more American patriots died there than in combat on all the battlefield engagements of the American Revolutionary War combined. One result of the Treaty of Paris in 1783 was the evacuation of the British from New York City, which was celebrated by New Yorkers into the 20th century.

Post-independence era

Urbanization

A preindustrial Winter Scene in Brooklyn, c. 1819–20, by Francis Guy (Brooklyn Museum)

The first half of the 19th century saw the beginning of the development of urban areas on the economically strategic East River shore of Kings County, facing the adolescent City of New York confined to Manhattan Island. The New York Navy Yard operated in Wallabout Bay (border between Brooklyn and Williamsburgh) during the 19th century and two-thirds of the 20th century.

The first center of urbanization sprang up in the Town of Brooklyn, directly across from Lower Manhattan, which saw the incorporation of the Village of Brooklyn in 1817. Reliable steam ferry service across the East River to Fulton Landing converted Brooklyn Heights into a commuter town for Wall Street. Ferry Road to Jamaica Pass became Fulton Street to East New York. Town and Village were combined to form the first, kernel incarnation of the City of Brooklyn in 1834.

In a parallel development, the Town of Bushwick, farther up the river, saw the incorporation of the Village of Williamsburgh in 1827, which separated as the Town of Williamsburgh in 1840 and formed the short-lived City of Williamsburgh in 1851. Industrial deconcentration in the mid-century was bringing shipbuilding and other manufacturing to the northern part of the county. Each of the two cities and six towns in Kings County remained independent municipalities and purposely created non-aligning street grids with different naming systems.

However, the East River shore was growing too fast for the three-year-old infant City of Williamsburgh; it, along with its Town of Bushwick hinterland, was subsumed within a greater City of Brooklyn in 1854.

By 1841, with the appearance of The Brooklyn Eagle, and Kings County Democrat published by Alfred G. Stevens, the growing city across the East River from Manhattan was producing its own prominent newspaper.[28] It later became the most popular and highest circulation afternoon paper in America. The publisher changed to L. Van Anden on April 19, 1842,[29] and the paper was renamed The Brooklyn Daily Eagle and Kings County Democrat on June 1, 1846.[30] On May 14, 1849, the name was shortened to The Brooklyn Daily Eagle;[31] on September 5, 1938, it was further shortened to Brooklyn Eagle.[32] The establishment of the paper in the 1840s helped develop a separate identity for Brooklynites over the next century. The borough's soon-to-be-famous National League baseball team, the Brooklyn Dodgers, also assisted with this. Both major institutions were lost in the 1950s: the paper closed in 1955 after unsuccessful attempts at a sale following a reporters' strike, and the baseball team decamped for Los Angeles in a realignment of major league baseball in 1957.

Agitation against Southern slavery was stronger in Brooklyn than in New York,[33] and under Republican leadership, the city was fervent in the Union cause in the Civil War. After the war the Henry Ward Beecher Monument was built downtown to honor a famous local abolitionist. A great victory arch was built at what was then the south end of town to celebrate the armed forces; this place is now called Grand Army Plaza.

The number of people living in Brooklyn grew rapidly early in the 19th century. There were 4,402 by 1810, 7,175 in 1820 and 15,396 by 1830.[34] The city's population was 25,000 in 1834, but the police department comprised only 12 men on the day shift and another 12 on the night shift. Every time a rash of burglaries broke out, officials blamed burglars from New York City. Finally, in 1855, a modern police force was created, employing 150 men. Voters complained of inadequate protection and excessive costs. In 1857, the state legislature merged the Brooklyn force with that of New York City.[35]

Civil War

Fervent in the Union cause, the city of Brooklyn played a major role in supplying troops and materiel for the American Civil War. The most well-known regiment to be sent off to war from the city was the 14th Brooklyn "Red Legged Devils". They fought from 1861 to 1864, wore red the entire war, and were the only regiment named after a city. President Lincoln called them into service, making them part of a handful of three-year enlisted soldiers in April 1861. Unlike other regiments during the American Civil War, the 14th wore a uniform inspired by the French Chasseurs, a light infantry used for quick assaults.

As a seaport and a manufacturing center, Brooklyn was well prepared to contribute to the Union's strengths in shipping and manufacturing. The two combined in shipbuilding; the ironclad Monitor was built in Brooklyn.

Twin city

Brooklyn is referred to as the twin city of New York in the 1883 poem, "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, which appears on a plaque inside the Statue of Liberty. The poem calls New York Harbor "the air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame". As a twin city to New York, it played a role in national affairs that was later overshadowed by its century-old submergence into its old partner and rival.

Economic growth continued, propelled by immigration and industrialization, and Brooklyn established itself as the third-most populous American city for much of the 19th century. The waterfront from Gowanus Bay to Greenpoint was developed with piers and factories. Industrial access to the waterfront was improved by the Gowanus Canal and the canalized Newtown Creek. USS Monitor was the most famous product of the large and growing shipbuilding industry of Williamsburg. After the Civil War, trolley lines and other transport brought urban sprawl beyond Prospect Park and into the center of the county.

The rapidly growing population needed more water, so the City built centralized waterworks including the Ridgewood Reservoir. The municipal Police Department, however, was abolished in 1854 in favor of a Metropolitan force covering also New York and Westchester Counties. In 1865 the Brooklyn Fire Department (BFD) also gave way to the new Metropolitan Fire District.

Throughout this period the peripheral towns of Kings County, far from Manhattan and even from urban Brooklyn, maintained their rustic independence. The only municipal change seen was the secession of the eastern section of the Town of Flatbush as the Town of New Lots in 1852. The building of rail links such as the Brighton Beach Line in 1878 heralded the end of this isolation.

Sports became big business, and the Brooklyn Bridegrooms played professional baseball at Washington Park in the convenient suburb of Park Slope and elsewhere. Early in the next century, under their new name of Brooklyn Dodgers, they brought baseball to Ebbets Field, beyond Prospect Park. Racetracks, amusement parks, and beach resorts opened in Brighton Beach, Coney Island, and elsewhere in the southern part of the county.

Currier and Ives print of Brooklyn, 1886

Toward the end of the 19th century, the City of Brooklyn experienced its final, explosive growth spurt. Railroads and industrialization spread to Bay Ridge and Sunset Park. Within a decade, the city had annexed the Town of New Lots in 1886, the Town of Flatbush, the Town of Gravesend, the Town of New Utrecht in 1894, and the Town of Flatlands in 1896. Brooklyn had reached its natural municipal boundaries at the ends of Kings County.

Mayors of the City of Brooklyn

Brooklyn elected a mayor from 1834 until consolidation in 1898 into the City of Greater New York, whose own second mayor (1902–1903), Seth Low, had been Mayor of Brooklyn from 1882 to 1885. Since 1898, Brooklyn has, in place of a separate mayor, elected a Borough President.

Mayors of the City of Brooklyn[36]
Mayor   Party Start year End year
George Hall Democratic-Republican 1834 1834
Jonathan Trotter Democratic 1835 1836
Jeremiah Johnson Whig 1837 1838
Cyrus P. Smith Whig 1839 1841
Henry C. Murphy Democratic 1842 1842
Joseph Sprague Democratic 1843 1844
Thomas G. Talmage Democratic 1845 1845
Francis B. Stryker Whig 1846 1848
Edward Copland Whig 1849 1849
Samuel Smith Democratic 1850 1850
Conklin Brush Whig 1851 1852
Edward A. Lambert Democratic 1853 1854
George Hall Know Nothing 1855 1856
Samuel S. Powell Democratic 1857 1860
Martin Kalbfleisch Democratic 1861 1863
Alfred M. Wood Republican 1864 1865
Samuel Booth Republican 1866 1867
Martin Kalbfleisch Democratic 1868 1871
Samuel S. Powell Democratic 1872 1873
John W. Hunter Democratic 1874 1875
Frederick A. Schroeder Republican 1876 1877
James Howell Democratic 1878 1881
Seth Low Republican 1882 1885
Daniel D. Whitney Democratic 1886 1887
Alfred C. Chapin Democratic 1888 1891
David A. Boody Democratic 1892 1893
Charles A. Schieren Republican 1894 1895
Frederick W. Wurster Republican 1896 1897

New York City borough

Brooklyn in 1897

In 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was completed, transportation to Manhattan was no longer by water only, and the City of Brooklyn's ties to the City of New York were strengthened.

The question became whether Brooklyn was prepared to engage in the still-grander process of consolidation then developing throughout the region, whether to join with the county of New York, the county of Richmond and the western portion of Queens County to form the five boroughs of a united City of New York. Andrew Haswell Green and other progressives said yes, and eventually, they prevailed against the Daily Eagle and other conservative forces. In 1894, residents of Brooklyn and the other counties voted by a slight majority to merge, effective in 1898.[37]

Kings County retained its status as one of New York State's counties, but the loss of Brooklyn's separate identity as a city was met with consternation by some residents at the time. Many newspapers of the day called the merger the "Great Mistake of 1898", and the phrase still denotes Brooklyn pride among old-time Brooklynites.[38]

Brooklyn History articles: 150

Geography

Location of Brooklyn (red) within New York City (remainder white)

Brooklyn is 97 square miles (250 km2) in area, of which 71 square miles (180 km2) is land (73%), and 26 square miles (67 km2) is water (27%); the borough is the second-largest by land area among the New York City's boroughs. However, Kings County, coterminous with Brooklyn, is New York State's fourth-smallest county by land area and third-smallest by total area.[8] Brooklyn lies at the southwestern end of Long Island, and the borough's western border constitutes the island's western tip.

Brooklyn's water borders are extensive and varied, including Jamaica Bay; the Atlantic Ocean; The Narrows, separating Brooklyn from the borough of Staten Island in New York City and crossed by the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge; Upper New York Bay, separating Brooklyn from Jersey City and Bayonne in the U.S. state of New Jersey; and the East River, separating Brooklyn from the borough of Manhattan in New York City and traversed by the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, the Williamsburg Bridge, and numerous routes of the New York City Subway. To the east of Brooklyn lies the borough of Queens, which contains John F. Kennedy International Airport in that borough's Jamaica neighborhood, approximately two miles from the border of Brooklyn's East New York neighborhood.

Climate

Under the Köppen climate classification, using the 32 °F (0 °C) coldest month (January) isotherm, Brooklyn experiences a humid subtropical climate (Cfa),[39] with partial shielding from the Appalachian Mountains and moderating influences from the Atlantic Ocean. Brooklyn receives plentiful precipitation all year round, with nearly 50 in (1,300 mm) yearly. The area averages 234 days with at least some sunshine annually, and averages 57% of possible sunshine annually, accumulating 2,535 hours of sunshine per annum.[40] Brooklyn lies in the USDA 7b plant hardiness zone.[41]

Climate data for JFK Airport, New York (1981–2010 normals,[42] extremes 1948–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 71
(22)
71
(22)
85
(29)
90
(32)
99
(37)
99
(37)
104
(40)
101
(38)
98
(37)
90
(32)
77
(25)
75
(24)
104
(40)
Mean maximum °F (°C) 56.8
(13.8)
57.9
(14.4)
68.5
(20.3)
78.1
(25.6)
84.9
(29.4)
92.1
(33.4)
94.5
(34.7)
92.7
(33.7)
87.4
(30.8)
78.0
(25.6)
69.1
(20.6)
60.1
(15.6)
96.6
(35.9)
Average high °F (°C) 39.1
(3.9)
41.8
(5.4)
49.0
(9.4)
59.0
(15.0)
68.5
(20.3)
78.0
(25.6)
83.2
(28.4)
81.9
(27.7)
75.3
(24.1)
64.5
(18.1)
54.3
(12.4)
44.0
(6.7)
61.6
(16.4)
Average low °F (°C) 26.3
(−3.2)
28.1
(−2.2)
34.2
(1.2)
43.5
(6.4)
52.8
(11.6)
62.8
(17.1)
68.5
(20.3)
67.8
(19.9)
60.8
(16.0)
49.6
(9.8)
40.7
(4.8)
31.5
(−0.3)
47.3
(8.5)
Mean minimum °F (°C) 9.8
(−12.3)
13.4
(−10.3)
19.1
(−7.2)
32.6
(0.3)
42.6
(5.9)
52.7
(11.5)
60.7
(15.9)
58.6
(14.8)
49.2
(9.6)
37.6
(3.1)
27.4
(−2.6)
16.3
(−8.7)
7.5
(−13.6)
Record low °F (°C) −2
(−19)
−2
(−19)
4
(−16)
20
(−7)
34
(1)
45
(7)
55
(13)
46
(8)
40
(4)
30
(−1)
19
(−7)
2
(−17)
−2
(−19)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.16
(80)
2.59
(66)
3.78
(96)
3.87
(98)
3.94
(100)
3.86
(98)
4.08
(104)
3.68
(93)
3.50
(89)
3.62
(92)
3.30
(84)
3.39
(86)
42.77
(1,086)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 6.3
(16)
8.3
(21)
3.5
(8.9)
0.8
(2.0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.2
(0.51)
4.7
(12)
23.8
(60)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 inch) 10.5 9.6 11.0 11.4 11.5 10.7 9.4 8.7 8.1 8.5 9.4 10.6 119.4
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 inch) 4.6 3.4 2.3 0.3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.2 2.8 13.6
Average relative humidity (%) 64.9 64.4 63.4 64.1 69.5 71.5 71.4 71.7 71.9 69.1 67.9 66.3 68.0
Source: NOAA (relative humidity 1961–1990)[43][44][45]

Boroughscape

The Downtown Brooklyn skyline, the Manhattan Bridge (far left), and the Brooklyn Bridge (near left) are seen across the East River from Lower Manhattan at sunset in 2013.

Brooklyn Geography articles: 24

Neighborhoods

Landmark 19th-century rowhouses on tree-lined Kent Street in Greenpoint Historic District
150–159 Willow Street, three original red-brick early 19th-century