Park Slope

Park Slope
Neighborhood of Brooklyn
Park Slope
Coordinates: 40°40′21″N 73°58′37″W / 40.672404°N 73.977063°W / 40.672404; -73.977063Coordinates: 40°40′21″N 73°58′37″W / 40.672404°N 73.977063°W / 40.672404; -73.977063
Country  United States
State  New York
City New York City
Borough Brooklyn
Population (2000)
  Total 65,047[1]
ZIP Codes 11215, 11217
Seventh Avenue in Park Slope
The architectural details of one of Park Slope's buildings
House in Park Slope, 1974. Photo by Danny Lyon.

Park Slope is a neighborhood in northwest Brooklyn, New York City. Park Slope is roughly bounded by Prospect Park and Prospect Park West to the east, Fourth Avenue to the west, Flatbush Avenue to the north, and Prospect Expressway to the south. Generally, the section from Flatbush Avenue to Garfield Place (the "named streets") is considered the "North Slope", the section from 1st through 9th Streets is considered the "Center Slope", and south of 10th Street, the "South Slope".[2][3][4] The neighborhood takes its name from its location on the western slope of neighboring Prospect Park. Fifth Avenue and Seventh Avenue are its primary commercial streets, while its east-west side streets are lined with brownstones and apartment buildings.[5]

Park Slope features historic buildings, top-rated restaurants, bars, and shops, as well as proximity to Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, and the Central Library as well as the Park Slope branch of the Brooklyn Public Library system.[6] The neighborhood had a population of about 62,200 as of the 2000 census,[7] resulting in a population density of approximately 68,000/square mile, or approximately 26,000/square kilometer.

Park Slope is considered one of New York City's most desirable neighborhoods. In 2010, it was ranked number 1 in New York by New York Magazine, citing its quality public schools, dining, nightlife, shopping, access to public transit, green space, safety, and creative capital, among other aspects.[8] It was named one of the "Greatest Neighborhoods in America" by the American Planning Association in 2007, "for its architectural and historical features and its diverse mix of residents and businesses, all of which are supported and preserved by its active and involved citizenry."[9] In December 2006, Natural Home magazine named Park Slope one of America's ten best neighborhoods based on criteria including parks, green spaces and neighborhood gathering spaces; farmers' markets and community gardens; public transportation and locally owned businesses; and environmental and social policy.[10] Park Slope is part of Brooklyn Community Board 6.



The area that today comprises the neighborhood of Park Slope was first inhabited by the Native Americans of the Lenape people. The Dutch colonized the area by the 17th century and farmed the region for more than 200 years. During the American Revolutionary War, on August 27, 1776, the Park Slope area served as the backdrop for the beginning of the Battle of Long Island. In this battle, over 10,000 British soldiers and Hessian mercenaries routed outnumbered American forces. The historic site of Battle Pass is now preserved in Prospect Park, and on Fifth Avenue there is a reconstruction of the stone farmhouse where a countercharge covered the American retreat.

In the 1850s, a local lawyer and railroad developer named Edwin Clarke Litchfield (1815–1885) purchased large tracts of what was then farmland. Through the American Civil War era, he sold off much of his land to residential developers. During the 1860s, the City of Brooklyn purchased his estate and adjoining property to complete the West Drive and the southern portion of the Long Meadow in Prospect Park.[5] However, Park Slope’s bucolic period ended soon after. By the late 1870s, with horse-drawn rail cars running to the park and the ferry, bringing many rich New Yorkers in the process, urban sprawl dramatically changed the neighborhood into a streetcar suburb. Many of the large Victorian mansions on Prospect Park West, known as the Gold Coast, were built in the 1880s and 1890s to take advantage of the beautiful park views. Today, many of these buildings are preserved within the 24-block Park Slope Historic District, one of New York's largest landmarked neighborhoods. By 1883, with the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge, Park Slope continued to boom and subsequent brick and brownstone structures pushed the neighborhood's borders farther. The 1890 census showed Park Slope to be the richest community in the United States.

St. John's Episcopal Church, on St. Johns Place
Brooklyn Conservatory of Music

In 1892, President Grover Cleveland presided over the unveiling of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Arch at Grand Army Plaza, a notable Park Slope landmark. The Park Slope Armory was completed in 1893. Nearby, Old Stone House is a 1930 reconstruction of the Vechte-Cortelyou House which was destroyed in 1897. It is located on Third Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues, beside the former Gowanus Creek.

Realtors and community members saw a clear connection between Park Slope's bucolic setting and the comfort of living there. As the New York Tribune wrote in 1899, "Nature set the park down where it is, and man has embellished her work in laying out great lawns and artificial lakes, in bringing together menageries and creating conservatories, in making roads and driveways, and in doing everything in his power to make the place a pleasant pleasure ground and a charming resort."[11]


Baseball had also played a prominent role in the history of the Park Slope area. From 1879 to 1889, the Brooklyn Atlantics (later to become the Dodgers) played at Washington Park on 5th Avenue between 3rd and 4th Streets. When the park was destroyed by a fire, the team moved to their part-time home in Ridgewood, Queens and then to a park in East New York. In 1898, the "New" Washington Park was built between Third and Fourth Avenues and between First and Third Streets near the Gowanus Canal. The team, by this point known as the Dodgers, played to an ever-growing fan base at this location. By the end of the 1912 season, it was clear that the team had outgrown the field, and the neighborhood. Team owner Charles Ebbets moved the team to his Ebbets Field stadium in Flatbush for the beginning of the 1913 season.[12] The team went on to have historic crosstown rivalries with both the New York Giants and New York Yankees.

1960 air collision

On December 16, 1960, two airliners collided above Staten Island, killing 134 people in what was the worst U.S. aviation disaster at that time. One of the airplanes, a Douglas DC-8 operating by United Airlines, was able to stay airborne for a few miles before crashing near the corner of Sterling Place and Seventh Avenue,[13] destroying several buildings. Everyone on board was instantly killed, except for one 11-year-old boy, Stephen Baltz, who survived the night at nearby New York Methodist Hospital before succumbing to his injuries.[14] Six people on the ground were also killed, including Wallace E. Lewis, the church's 90-year-old caretaker; Charles Cooper, a sanitation worker who was shoveling snow; Joseph Colacino and John Opperisano, who were selling Christmas trees on the sidewalk; Dr. Jacob L. Crooks, who was out walking his dog; and Albert Layer, the owner of a butcher shop located just off Seventh Avenue on Sterling Place.[15]

14th Brooklyn Armory on 15th Street


By the 1950s, many of the wealthy and middle-class families fled for the suburban life and Park Slope became a rougher, more working-class neighborhood. It was mostly Italian and Irish in the 1950s and 1960s, though this changed by 1970s as the black and Latino population of the Slope increased and many of the Italian and Irish population began to relocate.[16]

Those that did not relocate reacted violently to the ethnic changes to the neighborhood; for example, white residents of Park Slope attempted to bar African-Americans from participating in after-school programs at William Alexander Middle School in 1966.[17] After this failed, white teenagers engaged in firebomb attacks on African-American homes on Fourth Street.[17] In 1968, a street fight between Italian and African-American gangs occurred at Fifth Avenue and President Street, using bricks and bottles as weapons;[18] in the aftermath of the fight, fourteen African-Americans and three Italian-Americans were arrested, but two of the arrested Italian-Americans were quickly released.[18] This mix of racial tension and white flight was epitomized in the 1970 film The Landlord.[19]


In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the renovation of a now-US$4.8 million brownstone along Berkeley Place[20] sparked a trend where the rest of the brownstones were cleaned up, and the grittiness of the neighborhood was removed.[21] Young professionals began to buy and renovate brownstones (which only cost around US$15,000–35,000 at the time), often converting them from rooming houses into single and two-family homes.[22] Preservationists helped secure landmark status for many of the neighborhood's blocks of historic row houses, brownstone, and Queen Anne, Renaissance Revival, and Romanesque mansions. After the 1973 creation of the landmark district, primarily above 7th Avenue, the rate of gentrification was sped up, and throughout the 1970s, the area saw an influx of young professional couples.[23]

By the early 1980s, however, even as the gentrification of the neighborhood was rapidly proceeding, crime was soaring, along with crime in the rest of New York City. In addition to a rumored crack house near Prospect Park, the neighborhood was affected by daily muggings and shootings.[24]

Gentrification accelerated during the 1980s and 1990s as working-class families were generally replaced by upper-middle-class people being priced out of Manhattan or Brooklyn Heights. The Park Slope Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.[25][26] The influx of these new upper middle class residents has made Park Slope one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Brooklyn.[27] Sociologist and urban theorist Sharon Zukin has written of the trend, "In Park Slope, the middle class found a sense of history and a picturesque quality that fit their sense of themselves."[28] Since the mid-1990s young and childless professionals who in previous decades would most likely have lived in Manhattan have been moving to the neighborhood in ever-increasing numbers. Gentrification has also overflowed even into the surrounding areas, such as Prospect Heights to the north and Windsor Terrace to the southeast.

A 2001 report by the New York City Rent Guidelines Board found that from 1990 to 1999, rents in Park Slope increased by 3.5–4.4% per year, depending on what kind of building the apartment was in.[29] Due to the rise in property values in Park Slope, the neighborhood experienced a boundary rebranding, in which real-estate agents coalesced Fort Greene into Bedford-Stuyvesant; South Slope, Prospect Heights, Windsor Terrace, Gowanus, Greenwood Heights, and Boerum Hill into part of greater Park Slope.


The neighborhood is well-served by the New York City Subway. The IND Culver Line (F G trains) runs along Ninth Street, a main shopping street, stopping at Fourth Avenue, Seventh Avenue and 15th Street – Prospect Park/Prospect Park West. The IRT Eastern Parkway Line (2 3 4 5 trains) runs under Flatbush Avenue with an express stop at Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center, and local stops (served by the 2 3 4 trains) at Bergen Street and Grand Army Plaza. The BMT Fourth Avenue Line's local trains (D N R trains) serve Prospect Avenue, Ninth Street, and Union Street stations, with the D N R trains all serving Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center, an express station. The BMT Brighton Line (B Q trains) also passes through the neighborhood under Flatbush Avenue making stops at Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center and Seventh Avenue. All three stations at Atlantic Avenue are connected to each other.[30]

Additionally, several MTA New York City Transit bus routes serve the area, including the B61, B63, B67, and B69.[31]

Community institutions

Religious institutions

Beth Elohim
Melkite Catholic Church of Saint Mary

Park Slope is home to a wide variety of religious institutions, or houses of worship, including many churches and synagogues; most are historic buildings, and date back many decades.

Churches include:

There is a significant Jewish population in Park Slope, allowing for a number of synagogues along the religious spectrum. In addition to a number of synagogues, there is an eruv, sponsored by members of the various communities, that surrounds Park Slope.

Synagogues include:[35]


PS 107

Public schools

Public schools are operated by the New York City Department of Education. Park Slope is in two different community school districts – district 13 and district 15. The border between these two districts is Union Street from Prospect Park West to Sixth Avenue and then President Street from Fourth to Sixth Avenue. North of this border is District 13, south of this border is district 15. Students are zoned to schools for elementary school Both district 13 and district 15 place students in middle school based on the student's ranking of acceptable middle schools; the district 13 portion of Park Slope receives district 15 (not district 13) middle school choice consistent with the rest of the neighborhood. The former John Jay High School is now the John Jay Educational Campus, housing three high schools and one combination middle/high school.

Private schools

Notable people







Chess players

See also


  1. "Fact Sheet". US Census Bureau. pp. Zip Code Tabulation Area 112152. Retrieved 2009-08-26.
  2. New York Visitors Guide, Park Slope & Prospect Heights, New York, Accessed June 23, 2009. "Boundaries, Park Slope: From 19th St. north to Flatbush Ave., From Prospect Park W. west to Fourth Ave"
  3. Park Slope neighborhood profile, New York, extracted from a March 10, 2003 article. Accessed September 25, 2007. "Boundaries: Stretching from Prospect Park West to Fourth Avenue, Park Place to Prospect Expressway."
  4. Oser, Alan N. "Rezoning, and Redefining, Park Slope", The New York Times, December 28, 2003. Accessed September 25, 2007. "As broadly defined by brokers marketing real estate there, Park Slope is bordered by Flatbush Avenue to the north, the Prospect Expressway to the south, Prospect Park and Prospect Park West to the east, and Fourth Avenue to the west. The April rezoning actually extends west as far as Third Avenue on some blocks, and only as far as 15th Street to the south."
  5. 1 2 Morrone, Francis (2001). An Architectural Guidebook to Brooklyn. Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith. pp. 347–370. ISBN 1586850474.
  6. Brooklyn Public Library, accessed August 17, 2006
  7. Oser, Alan (December 28, 2003). "Rezoning, and Redefining, Park Slope". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-06-02.
  8. Nate Silver (April 11, 2010). "The Most Livable Neighborhoods in New York". New York. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
  9. "Park Slope Brooklyn, New York". American Planning Association. 2007. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
  10. "America's Best Eco-Neighborhoods", Natural Home, December 6, 2006
  11. "Brooklyn's Park Slope: A Place of Fine Homes and Beautiful Surroundings Where Wealth and Taste have Combined to Aid Nature in Making a Dwelling Place of the Highest Class". New York Tribune. 4 June 1899.
  12. Dodgers Ballparks, accessed May 27, 2006
  13. Nathaniel Altman (October 7, 2004). "Pillar of Fire, Recalling the Day the Sky Fell, December 16, 1960". Park Slope Reader. Archived from the original on October 15, 2004.
  14. William A Baltz (December 16, 2010). "Park Slope Plane Crash | A Little Brother Remembers". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-04-17.
  15. Disaster in Fog — New York Times — December 17, 1960
  16. Patterson, Philana (18 October 2007). "Looking Back: How Yuppies discovered Park Slope". The Real Deal. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  17. 1 2 Anekwe, Simon (12 March 1966). "Negroes in Park Slope Attacked by Whites: Bombing, Beatings Reported". New York Amsterdam News.
  18. 1 2 "Gang Fights Hit 2 Brooklyn Areas: 26 are Seized in Park Slope and East New York". The New York Times. 2 February 1968.
  19. Derek John (May 12, 2011). "At BAM, 'The Landlord' Shows Park Slope Before Gentrification Took Hold". WNYC. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  20. Albrecht, Leslie (19 September 2013). "Brownstone That Spurred Park Slope Gentrification For Sale For $4.8 Million". DNA Info. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  21. "A "Cinderella" Story On Berkeley Place". Save the Slope. 12 October 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  22. Hamill, Pete (2008-09-28). "40th Anniversary - Pete Hamill Revisits His Native Brooklyn - New York Magazine". New York. Retrieved 2014-06-10.
  23. Jim Yardley (1998-03-14). "Park Slope, Reshaped by Money; As Rents and Prices Rise, Some Fear for Neighborhood's Soul - New York Times". The New York Times. New York City; Park Slope (Nyc). Retrieved 2014-06-10.
  24. Hymowitz, Kay S. (Fall 2011). "How Brooklyn Got Its Groove Back". City Journal. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  25. National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  26. Megan Cossey (January 16, 2005). "Replanting the Rainbow Flag". The New York Times.
  27. "Park Slope returns to its roots". 2005-03-21. Retrieved 2014-06-10.
  28. Powell, Michael (Feb 21, 2010). "A Contrarian's Lament in a Blitz of Gentrification". The New York Times.
  29. Urban Gentry, Ford Foundation Report, Spring 2003
  30. NYC Subway Map
  31. Brooklyn Bus Map
  32. "Community Ties". Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  33. "Changes for volunteer ambulance corps". New York Post. February 23, 2010. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  34. "WOMEN'S SHELTER". CHiPS. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  35. "BrooklynYid". Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  40. K-280
  41. PS 39
  42. PS 107
  43. PS 282
  44. PS 321
  45. Park Slope Collegiate
  46. Millennium Brooklyn High School
  47. Secondary School for Journalism
  48. Secondary School for Law
  49. St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Academy
  50. Lee, Linda. "A NIGHT OUT AT THE: Paramount Hotel; The Pajama Game", The New York Times, May 27, 2001. Accessed November 3, 2007. "A product of St. Ann's School in Brooklyn, Mr. Abrahams, 23, had invited a batch of friends from high school to join him. He lives in North Park Slope, exactly 41 minutes from here, he said."
  51. Tucker, Reed. "All about Steve Buscemi", New York Post, January 24, 2010. Accessed August 15, 2016. "As anyone who’s seen Steve Buscemi casually riding the F train knows, this guy’s one of us. He was born in this city, has fought fires in this city and, despite his success, has resisted the urge go all Hollywood on us. He still lives in a brownstone off Seventh Avenue in Park Slope and says he never wanted to relocate to LA."
  52. 1 2 Mompanek, Christopher. "Cobble thrill", New York Post, December 13, 2012. Accessed August 15, 2016. "Previously, she lived in a Park Slope townhouse with her ex-husband, actor/director Terry Kinney. She'd wanted to stay in the neighborhood, but 'finding a three-bedroom that was affordable, relatively speaking, in that neighborhood was very difficult,' she says."
  53. Pincus-Roth, Zachary. "Next on His Docket: A Supreme Challenge", The New York Times, April 27, 2008. Accessed August 15, 2016. "Mr. Fishburne had little experience with segregation. Though he was born in Augusta, Ga., in 1961, at about 4 he moved to Park Slope, Brooklyn, a melting-pot neighborhood where he played with children from many backgrounds."
  54. Butler, Karen. "Round Robbins; Marine Park's industry insider on piracy, Shaggy Dog & Eddie Murphy", The Brooklyn Paper, March 11, 2006. Accessed August 15, 2016. "From his new canine point of view, the DA sees how he has been neglecting his wife (Kristin Davis) and two teen-age children (Spencer Breslin and Park Slope's Zena Grey)."
  55. Murphy, Tim. "Maggie Gyllenhaal on Brownstone Living", New York (magazine), May 9, 2008. Accessed August 15, 2016. "So, when we got to chat with the evening’s host, Maggie Gyllenhaal, who recently bought a brownstone in Park Slope, we wanted to talk shelter with her."
  56. Bergin, Brigid. "John Hodgman to de Blasios: You'll Miss Us in Park Slope", WNYC, December 11, 2013. Accessed August 15, 2016. "To find out what's behind this mysterious magnetism, specifically in Park Slope, WNYC spoke to another well-known resident, the writer, comedian and, by his own description, minor television star John Hodgman."
  57. Goldman, Lowell. "Challenges Welcome For Kelly Mcgillis", The Philadelphia Enquirer, May 4, 1989. Accessed August 15, 2016. "Kelly McGillis has just finished a workout in the gym on the ground floor of her four-story Victorian brownstone in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn."
  58. Paumgarten, Nick. "The Race Card", The New Yorker, November 10, 2003. Accessed August 15, 2016. "'To be perfectly clear, passing'—that is, trying to pass oneself off as white, as Silk does—'is something that has never crossed my mind,' Miller, who was brought up in Park Slope, said last week, over breakfast."
  59. Schulman, Michael. "Sarah Paulson Opens Up About Acting, Marcia Clark and Dating Older Women", The New York Times, March 2, 2016. Accessed August 16, 2016. "By the time Ms. Paulson was in seventh grade, the family had moved to Park Slope, Brooklyn, and she had discovered the stage at the private school Berkeley Carroll."
  60. Catton, Pia. "Colin Quinn: Take Your Melting Pot, PleaseThe comedian’s new show is a snappy, 75-minute monologue about race and ethnicity in NYC", The Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2015. Accessed August 15, 2016. "As an Irish kid in Brooklyn's Park Slope during the 1970s, he said, he ran around in a 'polyglot' neighborhood, where each block had a different character shaped by blacks, Puerto Ricans and Italians."
  61. Itzkoff, Dave. "Together Off Broadway and Elsewhere", The New York Times, February 4, 2009. Accessed August 15, 2016. "Over lunch at a trattoria near their Park Slope home, Ms. Gyllenhaal and Mr. Sarsgaard come across like a shinier version of That Brooklyn Couple who gave up the hubbub of Manhattan to raise their child in a quieter, tree-lined borough."
  62. Miller, Rachel. "Brooklyn’s 50 Funniest People: Streeter Seidell", Brooklyn Magazine, June 3, 2016. Accessed August 15, 2016. "Seidell was born in Connecticut, and yes, there is a picture of baby Seidell on the beach wearing a pink polo with a popped collar posted on his Instagram. Now he lives in Park Slope, and yes, there is also a picture of Seidell and his wife with their brand new, beautiful baby boy."
  63. Christian, Scott. "Patrick Stewart Moves To Brooklyn, Becomes Coolest Guy Ever", GQ, August 28, 2013. Accessed August 15, 2016. "Further proof that Brooklyn really is the coolest city in the U.S., Dr. Charles Xavier himself, Sir Patrick Stewart, recently moved the Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope and has quickly become one of the best things to watch on the Internet."
  64. Koblin, John. "In The Night Of, John Turturro Picks Up Where James Gandolfini Left Off", The New York Times, July 1, 2016. Accessed August 15, 2016. "Over a recent lunch at Bar Pitti in the West Village, Mr. Turturro's trademark Queens accent was on display as he chatted breezily with the wait staff and took a reporter through the menu item by item, translating from Italian. Dressed in a fitted gray T-shirt, he had taken the subway there from his home in Park Slope."
  65. Martinez, Erika. "'Artie's' Goose is 'Coked' - Sopranos Chef in Drug & DWI Bust", New York Post, May 2, 2006. Accessed August 15, 2016. "Sources said Ventimiglia later maintained he had a couple of glasses of wine at a Long Island City art gallery opening. The actor claimed he had found a parking spot near his Park Slope apartment and had turned off his lights as he tried to pull in."
  66. Karni, Annie. "I'm just Inga – the real diva is Foxy Brown", New York Post, July 17, 2011. Accessed August 15, 2016. "Brown was raised by her mother, a teacher, in Park Slope."
  67. Milkowski, Bill. "Before & After with Drummer Jim Black; Between Motian and J Mood", JazzTimes, November 23, 2012. Accessed August 15, 2016. "Currently a resident of Park Slope, Brooklyn, Black had just returned from a tour of Italy with guitarist Walter Beltrami’s Postural Vertigo Quintet when we sat down for his first Before & After session in August."
  68. Eggers, Dave "My wish: Once Upon a School", TED (conference), March, 2008. Accessed September 10, 2016. "In the Brooklyn neighborhood that I lived in, Park Slope, there are a lot of writers -- it's like a very high per capita ratio of writers to normal people."
  69. Levy, Clifford J. "My Family’s Experiment in Extreme Schooling." The New York Times. September 15, 2011. 1. Retrieved on May 21, 2012.
  70. Steven Kurtz (2009-09-09). "At Home with Amy Sohn: A Park Slope Novel Seems a Little Too Real". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  71. "Author Chat with Jacqueline Woodson". 23 July 2003. New York Public Library. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
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