Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn
Windsor Terrace is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. It is bounded by Prospect Park to the east and Green-Wood Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark, to the west. Its southern boundary is Caton Avenue, while to the north it is bordered by 8th Avenue. It is between the neighborhoods of Park Slope to the northeast and Kensington to the south.
Description and history
Windsor Terrace straddles the line between the original Dutch Colonial Brooklyn towns of Brooklyn and Flatbush. This border lies approximately east-west along what has now become Terrace Place, with south Brooklyn located to the north in the direction of 11th Avenue, and the Town of Flatbush to the south, located in the direction of Seeley Street. The grid of old Brooklyn which is tilted at an angle, is adjacent to the Flatbush grid, which is roughly aligned with the cardinal directions, at this juncture. The only other still-extant nuances of this ancient Dutch boundary is the legacy of original Catholic Parish boundaries, which are between Holy Name and Immaculate Heart, and ZIP codes applied much later (11215 to the north and 11218 to the south, which run roughly along the same boundary). Otherwise, the two halves have peacefully and organically grown into the quiet enclave of Windsor Terrace over the past 160-odd years, which to this day maintains a small-town ambience with a sense of neighborliness rarely found in big cities.
Largely residential, Windsor Terrace is home to mainly Irish-, German-, Polish-, and Italian-American families, many having settled in its brick row houses and wood-frame houses when the neighborhood was first developed beginning in 1849, and throughout the first half of the Twentieth Century.
The overwhelming majority of residents—many of whom can trace their family histories in Windsor Terrace back four or five generations— were traditionally affiliated with either Holy Name Church and School on 9th Avenue (now known as Prospect Park West) or Immaculate Heart of Mary on Fort Hamilton Parkway in Windsor Terrace's southeasternmost reaches. Other smaller Protestant denominations have been neighborhood anchors as well, such as the Memorial Baptist Church at 16th Street and 8th Avenue, and Holy Apostles Episcopal on Greenwood Avenue. Over time, Windsor Terrace has become increasingly diverse, including Greek and Hispanic residents, in addition to a small minority of Syrians, Maronite Lebanese and Jewish-Americans. More recently, an influx of Park Slope and Manhattan refugees seeking good family housing has pushed property prices up. The neighborhood public schools, P.S. 154 and P.S. 130, are well regarded. They are some of the primary attractions of the neighborhood. Each school feature a number of special enrichment programs for students, such as chess and journalism. Both public schools received "A" grades in the 2010-11 New York City Department of Education Progress Reports. A new, private school has opened in 2012, St Joseph the Worker Catholic Academy, a consolidation of Holy Name of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary's elementary schools into Holy Name's existing infrastructure on 9th Avenue, offering Pre-K(3) to 8th Grade, including Honors Classes and after school programs.
Like elsewhere in Brooklyn, trolley service, operated by the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation, ran in the neighborhood well into the 1950s and early 60s as evidenced by the construction of Bishop Ford Central Catholic High School (situated between Greenwood Cemetery and the Prospect Expressway) in 1962 on the site of a former trolley barn built originally for the Brooklyn and Coney Island lines.
The Prospect Expressway, built between 1953 and 1962, runs through the middle of the neighborhood, effectively separating it into two halves. Some neighborhood streets, such as Greenwood Avenue and Vanderbilt Street, were bisected by the expressway and remain so, while others, such as Seeley Street, 11th Avenue/Terrace Place, and Prospect Park West, are bridged over the highway. Windsor Terrace is patrolled by the NYPD's 72nd Precinct.
Kensington Stables is the only remaining stable near Prospect Park. The barn was built in 1930 as the last extension of the riding academy at 11 Ocean Parkway, 57 Caton Place (1917). The original riding academy closed in 1937 and is now a warehouse. Kensington Stables gives lessons in The Shoe in Prospect Park. Kensington Stables now exists on the Windsor Terrace side of the border between Kensington and Windsor Terrace.
Windsor Terrace lays claim to several writers of note, including Pete Hamill and brother Denis Hamill. Paul Auster, perhaps Brooklyn's current favorite laureate, lives nearby. Isaac Asimov lived in Windsor Terrace when his father ran a small candy store on Windsor Place. It is believed Asimov wrote his famous short story Nightfall in his bedroom in the family home across the street.
In popular culture
- Most of the 1975 Al Pacino film Dog Day Afternoon was filmed on Prospect Park West between 17th Street and 18th Street in Windsor Terrace.
- Director Wayne Wang's sister movies Smoke and Blue in the Face were filmed at the former Post Office location at the corner of 16th Street and Prospect Park West in 1995, in conjunction with well-known local writer Paul Auster.
- 1997's As Good as It Gets shows Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt walking through the streetscapes of Prospect Park West and past the row houses that characterize the neighborhood.
- Farrell's Bar & Grill, also at 16th Street and Prospect Park West, is an old and noted institution seen in the film Pollock with Ed Harris, and used as a standard bar backdrop in many other film sequences.
- Scenes from Ragtime (E.L. Doctorow), Brighton Beach Memoirs (Neil Simon), Pete Hamill's The Gift and Denis Hamill's Turk 182 were all shot in Windsor Terrace.
- The Darren Aronofsky movie π has several subway shots made in the 15th Street-Prospect Park station.
- The opening scene in the Geena Davis movie Angie was also shot in Windsor Terrace, on Fuller Place (one street up from Howard Place where Helen Hunt's character lived in As Good as It Gets).
- Alanis Morissette filmed the music video for "Hand In My Pocket" from her album Jagged Little Pill on Prospect Park West between Windsor Place and 16th Street during August 1995.
- The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) also shot scenes on Fuller Place.
- NYPD Precinct Maps, Retrieved 2011-9-30
- Brooklyn Community Boards Map, Retrieved 2011-9-30
- NYC Department of City Planning Neighborhoods Map, Retrieved 2011-9-30
- Jackson, Kenneth T. The Neighborhoods of Brooklyn, Second Edition, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004, pp. 212-214, ISBN 978-0-300-10310-6
- Jackson, Kenneth T., and John B. Manbeck. The Neighborhoods of Brooklyn. New York: Citizens Committee for New York City, 1998. ISBN 0300103107
- Hemphill, Clara New York City’s Best Public Elementary Schools: A Parent’s Guide, Third Edition, Teacher’s College Press, 2005, ISBN 978-0-8077-4613-4
- NYC Department of Education 2010-2011 Progress Report for P.S. 154, Retrieved 2011-9-30
- NYC Department of Education 2010-2011 Progress Report for P.S. 130, Retrieved 2011-9-30
- 72nd Precinct, NYPD
- Per NYC.gov:
- [Kensington Stables Horseback Riding, NYC Parks]
- Kensington Real Estate, NYC.gov
- Asimov FAQ
- Pesce, Nicole Lyn (July 2, 2012). "‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ brings the Big Apple to the big screen: From Broadway to Brooklyn". Daily News (New York City). Retrieved July 3, 2012. Print edition: July 3, 2012, pp. 40-41
- Media related to Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn at Wikimedia Commons