West New Brighton, Staten Island

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West New Brighton (also called West Brighton) is a neighborhood of Staten Island, New York City, situated along the central North Shore. The neighborhood borders New Brighton to the east, Port Richmond to the west, the waters of the Kill Van Kull to the north, and the communities of Sunnyside and Castleton Corners to the south.

History[edit]

Originally known as "Factoryville," Islanders now commonly refer to the area as West Brighton. Some parts of the neighborhood closer to the shoreline are referred to as "Livingston" and or "Randall Manor". This area of Staten Island was originally settled by the Dutch in the 1600s, who were then followed by English settlers. During the American Revolution residents of West Brighton overtly remained loyal to the Crown. Successive waves of immigrants to the US then led to the area becoming populated by the Irish, followed by Italians. Today, the neighborhood consists mostly of Italians, Irish, African Americans, and Hispanics.

The oldest continually operating cricket club in the US was established in West Brighton in 1872, at the site now operated as Walker Park. The Staten Island Cricket Club still has matches there. This is also the site of the first lawn tennis court in the US, built in 1873.

The neighborhood was transformed in the years following World War II. Two large public housing developments were built . The first, the Markham Homes, was originally built to house the families of shipyard & defense workers. The West Brighton Houses followed. Starting in 2004 tenants in The Markham Homes were evicted, so the site might be redeveloped. As of 2007 all tenants had been relocated. While claims had been made that many residents would be able to return into the redeveloped area, few have been able to.[1]

Since the late 90s the area has seen a reduction in some crime rates. Richmond Terrace, which is the main thoroughfare along the Kill Van Kull waterfront, is home to several shipyards and tugboat companies. The area south of Forest Avenue, continues to be home to some of West Brighton's more affluent residents including politicians, lawyers, judges and professionals (particularly in the "Sunset Hill" portion east of Broadway).

Location[edit]

West New Brighton's ZIP Code is 10310, and the territory served by this zip code is virtually coterminous with the boundaries of the neighborhood itself (such boundaries not officially existing for any neighborhoods within New York City). The neighborhood is roughly defined as the area around and to the northeast of the intersection of Clove Road and Forest Avenue, one of the major east-west thoroughfares on the island.

Demographics[edit]

As of 2000 U.S. Census, there were 22,852 people living in the 10310 zip code. The demographics were 61.7% White, 21.7% African American, 3.8% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 3.8% of the population were of two or more races, 8.6% of the population were other and 19.4% were Hispanic or Latino. The top 5 ancestries were 22.0% Italian, 18.3% Irish, 10.4% Puerto Rican, 7.4% German and 3.8% Polish.

As of the 2010 census, there were 24,962 people living in the 10310 zip code. The population was 41.8% Nonhispanic White, 20.5% Black, 5.5% Asian, 0.2% Some Other Race, and 1.8% Two or More Races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race made up 29.9% of the population. Puerto Ricans make up 12.6% of the population and Mexicans make up 8.6% of the population.[2]

The northern portion of the neighborhood has seen an interesting shift in demographics. Mexican immigrants settled in Port Richmond to the west beginning around the 1990s. The Mexican population gradually expanded eastward from Port Richmond, eventually surpassing the second-largest Hispanic population in the neighborhood (Puerto Ricans). Further south, closer to Forest Avenue, Puerto Ricans outnumber Mexicans, but not by a large margin.[3] The overall Hispanic population has increased by 68.3% since 2000, while the overall population has increased by 9.2%.

The 10310 zip code also contains the neighborhood of Livingston, and a small section of Westerleigh. If you exclude both those neighborhoods and the Sunset Hill subsection, the demographics become 29.6% Nonhispanic White, 23.9% Black, 37.9% Hispanic, 6.1% Asian, and 2.5% Multiracial/Other.

This is using a definition that includes all of Tract 105.00, Tract 133.01, Tract 133.02, Tract 125, and Tract 141, as well as Block Group 1 of Tract 97.

Landmarks[edit]

Notable landmarks include the Staten Island Zoo, and several small abandoned cemeteries in which members of some of the island's founding families are interred. Snug Harbor is also located in nearby Livingston. It holds baseball fields, a children's museum, a Chinese garden, botanical gardens, the Art Lab and the Staten Island Conservatory of Music. St. Peter's Cemetery, which is still properly maintained and is the oldest Roman Catholic cemetery on Staten Island (opened in 1848), is also located here.

The former St. Vincent's Medical Center, now known as Richmond University Medical Center is located in West Brighton. While most of the buildings on the RUMC campus date from the late 1960s or more recent, the Garner Mansion goes back to the 19th Century. It at one time was used for the St. Austin's Military School, now defunct.

The Michael J. Mahoney playground is a reminder of a small dose of American History.[4] A son of New York City, and West Brighton, he went off with the US Marines to fight in World War I. He fought in 5 major battles in 1918. Mahoney along with many other Marines, was killed charging up Blanc Mont Ridge, France into the German Maxim machine guns. It is considered by many historians to be the real breaking point of the Germans defensive line before the German homeland. His body was repatriated from his burial plot amongst the thousands of Americans Marines, Soldiers buried in World War I Memorial Cemeteries in France in 1924. His grave is located in St. Peters Cemetery in the family plot. The playground was dedicated in 1940 by the City of New York.

Libraries[edit]

New York Public Library operates the West New Brighton Branch at 976 Castleton Avenue at North Burgher Avenue.[5]

Transportation[edit]

West New Brighton was served by the West New Brighton station of the North Shore Branch of the Staten Island Railway until March 31, 1953. As of 2014, West New Brighton is served by numerous bus routes, because the S40, S44, S46, S48, S53, S54, S90, S94, S96, S98, and X30 buses serve the area.[6]

Notable Residents[edit]

  • Debi Rose, City Councilwoman who was born and raised in the neighborhood.

References[edit]

Coordinates: 40°38′05″N 74°06′44″W / 40.63472°N 74.11222°W / 40.63472; -74.11222