The "Gardens" in Carroll Gardens comes from the large front gardens in the Historic District and elsewhere in the neighborhood
Location in New York City
|City||New York City|
|Community District||Brooklyn 6|
|• Total||0.64 km2 (0.247 sq mi)|
|• Density||20,000/km2 (52,000/sq mi)|
|• Median income||$125,260|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Area codes||718, 347, 929, and 917|
Carroll Gardens is a neighborhood in the northwestern portion of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. Taking up around 40 city blocks, it is bounded by Degraw and Warren Streets (north), Hoyt and Smith Streets (east), Ninth Street or the Gowanus Expressway (south), and Interstate 278, the Gowanus and Brooklyn–Queens Expressways (west). The neighborhoods that surround it are Cobble Hill to the northwest, Boerum Hill to the northeast, Gowanus to the east, Red Hook to the south and southwest, and the Columbia Street Waterfront District to the west.
Originally considered to be part of the area once known as South Brooklyn (or, more specifically, Red Hook), the neighborhood started to have its own identity in the 1960s. The new name came from Charles Carroll, who was the only Roman Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence, and whose name was already attached to Carroll Street and Carroll Park. The name also reflects the large front gardens of brownstones in the Carroll Gardens Historic District and elsewhere in the neighborhood. Despite having an Irish surname, in recent times it has been known as an Italian American neighborhood.
The traditionally Italian-American area has recently been called "Little France" or "Little Paris" due to many French people who have taken up residence there over the past few years. A Catholic mass in French is said every Sunday at the St. Agnes Church in Carroll Gardens. This initiative of the diocese of Brooklyn occurred after the neighboring diocese, that of Manhattan, incurred the wrath of French worshipers in New York by deciding to close the French national parish of St. Vincent de Paul Church.
Carroll Gardens is part of Brooklyn Community District 6, and its primary ZIP Code is 11231. It is patrolled by the 76th Precinct of the New York City Police Department. and is served by the New York City Fire Department's Engine Company 204 and Engine Company 216/Ladder Company 108. Politically, Carroll Gardens is represented by the New York City Council's 39th District.
Carroll Gardens was settled in the 19th century by immigrants from Ireland, followed in the middle of the century by Norwegian immigrants, who founded two churches, the Norwegian Seaman's Church (formerly the Westminster Presbyterian Church), now apartments, and the Norwegian Methodist Episcopal Church (formerly the Carroll Park Methodist Episcopal Church, no longer extant).
The development of the South Brooklyn area, including Carroll Gardens, was aided by the foundation in 1846 by philanthropists Henry Pierrepont and Jacob E. Leroy of the Hamilton Avenue Ferry. Its purpose was to improve transportation to the newly created Green-Wood Cemetery, but horse car service, and later trolley lines, connecting to the ferry ran through Carroll Gardens, enabling businessmen who lived there to commute more easily to work in Manhattan.
In the late 1840s, Carroll Park, Brooklyn's third-oldest, a block-long area of playgrounds, walkways, and sitting areas between Court, Smith, Carroll, and President Streets was built. Originally a private garden, it was purchased by the city in 1853, and was named after Charles Carroll in honor of his Maryland regiment, which had helped to defend the area during the Battle of Long Island in the American Revolutionary War.
In 1846, surveyor Richard Butt planned gardens in front of the brownstone houses in the oldest section of the neighborhood when he developed it. The homes are set farther back from the street than is common in Brooklyn, and the large gardens became an iconic depiction of the neighborhood. The same year, a law was passed requiring that all buildings between Henry Street and Smith Street have 33 feet 5.25 inches (10.1918 m) between the building and the street for "courtyards". The large gardens can be seen from First to Fourth Place between Henry and Smith Streets, as well as on President, Carroll, and Second Streets between Smith and Hoyt Streets.
Further development of the Carroll Gardens was aided by the draining in the late 1860s of the swampland which surrounded Gowanus Creek through the deepening and dredging of the Creek to create the Gowanus Canal. This provoked land speculation and a building boom throughout the area. It was during this period, from the late 1860s to the early 1880s, that the area which is now the Carroll Gardens Historic District began to be developed.
Italian immigrants began coming to the neighborhood in the late 19th century – dock workers and workers in the Brooklyn Navy Yard – continuing through the 1950s, which led to much of the Irish population of the area leaving beginning in the 1920s. The rise of the Italian population provoked questions about the role of the Mafia in the neighborhood. One theory has it that Carroll Gardens, which lies between a territory traditionally controlled by the Gambino crime family and one controlled by the Colombo family, is considered to be neutral territory, and has been, for the most part, left alone.
Carroll Gardens had long been considered to be part of either the larger area referred to as South Brooklyn, or the neighborhood known as Red Hook. That neighborhood had an informal division in the 1930s and 1940s along Hamilton Avenue, with kids from south of the avenue, mostly of Italian descent, calling themselves "Hookers" or "Hookies" after Red Hook, and kids north of the street, mostly Irish, in what would now be Carroll Gardens called "Creekers" or "Creekies" after the now-drained Gowanus Creek. Violence between the two groups was common. The division between the neighborhoods became even stronger beginning in the late 1940s when Robert Moses built the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Gowanus Expressway, which started the process of the Carroll Gardens area taking on a separate and distinct character of its own; the neighborhood's name came from the Carroll Gardens Association, which had been created to advocate for neighborhood improvements.
In the 1960s, young middle-class professionals began to be attracted to the Carroll Garden area due to its convenience to Manhattan, where many of them worked, and its growing reputation as a safe and quiet place to live. This began the gentrification of the neighborhood, and a response from older residents, who did not appreciate these "hippie" newcomers who had no ties to the community. Regardless, the neighborhood gradually received its own name at that time, and the Carroll Gardens Association was formed in 1964. One result was that the decades-long control of the area by a political machine was ended.
Today, Carroll Gardens is predominantly upper middle-class, while Red Hook, which had retained its working-class, waterfront ambiance, has only recently begun to feel the effects of gentrification. The ethnic divide between the two neighborhoods now has a racial character as well. As late as the 1990s, several highly publicized incidents of violence underscored the tension between African-Americans from Red Hook and the remaining Italian residents of Carroll Gardens.
Carroll Gardens has seen some French immigration since the late 1990s, and Bastille Day celebrations are held on July 14 of each year. International School of Brooklyn, a Nursery-8th grade independent school, offers a French and Spanish language immersion program. One of the public schools in Carroll Gardens, The Carroll School (P.S. 58), also has one of the area's French dual-language programs, which was one of the first such French programs at a public school in the city. French expatriates operate several restaurants and shops in the neighborhood, including La Cigogne, Café Luluc, Provence en boite, French Louie, Chez Moi, Bar Tabac, and Dumonet.
Though still visible in local business and culture, the Italian segment of the community has decreased significantly from 52 percent of the population in 1980 to 22 percent in 2012. Still, despite the decline in the Italian segment of the population and the effects of gentrification, the neighborhood remains a strongly Italian one. Italians in the neighborhood often play bocce games, speak several dialects of Italian, and operate many Italian restaurants and shops, as well as join fraternal and benevolent associations attached to specific towns in Italy. The Roman Catholicism of the Italian population is still evident in the many shrines, especially to the Virgin Mary, which can be seen in front gardens in the neighborhood, and the 70-year tradition of an Our Lady of Sorrows procession celebrating Good Friday continues. Adult children who had moved away from Carroll Gardens have started returning to the neighborhood to raise their children.
The development of what is now the Carroll Gardens Historic District began in the 1870s, due in part to its proximity to Carroll Park. The district was created by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1973. It includes houses located in a rough rectangle bounded by Carroll, President, Smith, and Hoyt Streets, as well as the western ends of the two blocks between President Street and First Street. The district includes some of the finest examples of brownstones with large front gardens.
South Congregational Church, now apartments
John Rankin House, now a funeral home
Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of the Carroll Gardens/Columbia Street/Red Hook neighborhood tabulation area was 38,353, a change of 26 (0.1%) from the 38,327 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 1,040.71 acres (421.16 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 36.9 inhabitants per acre (23,600/sq mi; 9,100/km2).
The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 60.9% (23,342) White, 11.9% (4,573) African American, 0.2% (61) Native American, 4.5% (1,728) Asian, 0% (13) Pacific Islander, 0.4% (143) from other races, and 2.4% (912) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19.8% (7,581) of the population.
The entirety of Community Board 6, which covers areas around Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, had 109,351 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 81.4 years.:2, 20 This is slightly higher than the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods.:53 (PDF p. 84) Most inhabitants are middle-aged adults and youth: 18% are between the ages of 0–17, 46% between 25–44, and 20% between 45–64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 5% and 10% respectively.:2
As of 2016, the median household income in Community Board 6 was $134,804. In 2018, an estimated 10% of Park Slope and Carroll Gardens residents lived in poverty, compared to 21% in all of Brooklyn and 20% in all of New York City. Less than one in fifteen residents (6%) were unemployed, compared to 9% in the rest of both Brooklyn and New York City. Rent burden, or the percentage of residents who have difficulty paying their rent, is 37% in Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, lower than the citywide and boroughwide rates of 52% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018[update], Park Slope and Carroll Gardens is considered to be high-income and not gentrifying.:7
Carroll Gardens is patrolled by the 76th Precinct of the NYPD, located at 191 Union Street. The 76th Precinct ranked 37th safest out of 69 patrol areas for per-capita crime in 2010. With a non-fatal assault rate of 30 per 100,000 people, Park Slope and Carroll Gardens' rate of violent crimes per capita is less than that of the city as a whole. The incarceration rate of 294 per 100,000 people is lower than that of the city as a whole.:8
The 76th Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 83.1% between 1990 and 2018. The precinct saw 4 murders, 9 rapes, 53 robberies, 91 felony assaults, 65 burglaries, 210 grand larcenies, and 28 grand larcenies auto in 2018.
Preterm and teenage births are less common in Park Slope and Carroll Gardens than in other places citywide. In Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, there were 27 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 7.9 teenage births per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide).:11 Park Slope and Carroll Gardens has a relatively high population of residents who are uninsured, or who receive healthcare through Medicaid. In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated to be 22%, which is higher than the citywide rate of 12%.:14
The concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, in Park Slope and Carroll Gardens is 0.0089 milligrams per cubic metre (8.9×10−9 oz/cu ft), higher than the citywide and boroughwide averages.:9 Fifteen percent of Park Slope and Carroll Gardens residents are smokers, which is slightly higher than the city average of 14% of residents being smokers.:13 In Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, 15% of residents are obese, 6% are diabetic, and 22% have high blood pressure—compared to the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively.:16 In addition, 9% of children are obese, compared to the citywide average of 20%.:12
Eighty-six percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is slightly lower than the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 88% of residents described their health as "good", "very good", or "excellent", greater than the city's average of 78%.:13 For every supermarket in Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, there are 12 bodegas.:10
Park Slope and Carroll Gardens generally have a much higher ratio of college-educated residents than the rest of the city. The majority (74%) of residents age 25 and older have a college education or higher, while 9% have less than a high school education and 17% are high school graduates or have some college education. By contrast, 40% of Brooklynites and 38% of city residents have a college education or higher.:6 The percentage of Park Slope and Carroll Gardens students excelling in reading and math has been increasing, with reading achievement rising from 41 percent in 2000 to 53 percent in 2011, and math achievement rising from 35 percent to 64 percent within the same time period.
Park Slope and Carroll Gardens's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is lower than the rest of New York City. In Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, 11% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, compared to the citywide average of 20% of students.:24 (PDF p. 55):6 Additionally, 77% of high school students in Park Slope and Carroll Gardens graduate on time, higher than the citywide average of 75% of students.:6
The New York City Department of Education operates a number of public schools in the neighborhood: Patrick F. Daly (P.S. 15), John M. Harrigan (P.S. 29), The Carroll School (P.S. 58), Samuel Mills Sprole (P.S. 32), the Brooklyn New School (P.S. 146), Brooklyn School of Collaborative Studies (M.S. 448), and the School for Innovation (M.S. 442). The Carroll School (P.S. 58) is known for its dual-language immersion program, which offers a French immersion experience in both English and French for a portion of the students at the school. This program, which began in 2007, has encouraged a growing French-speaking population in the neighborhood.
Also in the area are the New Dawn Charter High School, International School of Brooklyn, Hannah Senesh Community Day School, the Mary McDowell Friends Middle School, and St. Mary's School.
The Brooklyn Public Library (BPL)'s Carroll Gardens branch is located at 396 Clinton Street near Union Street. The library, originally the Carroll Park branch, opened in 1901 in a rented facility. The library moved to its current facility, a 14,000-square-foot (1,300 m2) Carnegie library designed by William B. Tubby, in 1905. After extensive renovations, the library received its current name in response to a request from the community.
Several 19th-century baseball fields in the community, collectively referred to as Carroll Park, were home fields for several clubs from the early days of baseball, including Excelsior of Brooklyn before they moved to their Red Hook grounds.
The New York City Subway's Carroll Street and Smith–Ninth Streets stations service the F and G trains. Bus service through the neighborhood is available from the B61 on 9th Street and the B57 on Court and Smith Streets.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.|