Flatlands, Brooklyn

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"Flatlands" redirects here. For the Canadian community, see Flatlands, New Brunswick.
Schenck-Crooke House, Flatlands, built 1675, formerly at Avenue U and East 63rd Street.

Flatlands is a neighborhood in the southeast part of the borough of Brooklyn in New York City. The area is part of Brooklyn Community Board 18.[1]


Originally inhabited by the Lenape Native Americans and settled in 1623[citation needed] by French Walloons in an attempt to escape puritan oppression, Flatlands was given the right to local rule in 1661 by Peter Stuyvesant as one of the five Dutch Towns on Long Island.

Prior to British rule, Flatlands was known as Nieuw Amersfoort (named after the Dutch city of Amersfoort) and was established as a farming community when, in 1636, Andreas Hudde and Wolphert Gerretse bought 15,000 acres of land centered around what is now the intersection of Kings Highway and Flatbush Avenue. Crops typically grown in the area were beans, corn, marsh hay, squash, potato bean and tobacco. Oysters and clams were also farmed and harvested from Jamaica Bay, surrounding marshes and basins. The amount of farming done in the area also made Niew Amersfoort a slave town by necessity until the state declared emancipation of all slaves in 1827, after which black laborers took up farming jobs, many times on the farms they worked on as slaves.[2] Historic homes dated to the 18th century include the Stoothoff-Baxter-Kouwenhaven House and Joost Van Nuyse House.[3] Other historic structures are the Hendrick I. Lott House (East 36th Street between Fillmore Ave and Ave. S, built around 1720), which was a stop on the Underground Railroad, and the Flatlands Dutch Reformed Church.

The town’s growth and development came late because of a lack of a transit system or set of roads connecting it with other parts of Brooklyn and the population decreased until the creation of The Junction at Flatbush Avenue and Nostrand Avenue and the creation of a subway system (2 and 5 trains) which replaced the town center and made it easier to get to and from Flatlands.[2]

Flatlands is also home to the Gemini Lounge, which Roy DeMeo of the Gambino Mafia Family frequented during the late 1970s-early 1980s. However, the Gemini was converted to a church.[4]

The neighborhood borders are roughly defined by Avenue H to the north, Avenue U to the south, Ralph Avenue to the east, Flatbush Avenue to the southwest and Nostrand Avenue to the northwest.[5]


A bus stop on the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Utica Avenue

No New York City Subway service runs into Flatlands. However, many residents live within walking distance of the IRT Nostrand Avenue Line (2 5 trains) which terminates at the junction of Flatbush and Nostrand Avenues; others use buses to get to the BMT Brighton Line (B Q trains) or the BMT Canarsie Line (L train). Local and express buses are also used as a means of travel in and around the area. As of June 2013, the buses that serve Flatlands are the B2, B3, B6, B7, B9, B41, B44, B44 SBS, B46, B47, B82, B100, B103, BM1, BM2, and Q35.[6]


The total population of Flatlands is roughly 64,762 people as of the year 2010.[7] Household income is $75,949,[8] almost thirteen thousand dollars higher than the average total income for Brooklyn.[9]

Architectural reference to colonial origins

Notable residents[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°37′16″N 73°56′07″W / 40.62111°N 73.93528°W / 40.62111; -73.93528