Ditmas Park, Brooklyn
Ditmas Park Historic District
|Location||Bounded by Marlborough Rd., Dorchester Rd., Ocean Ave., and Newkirk Ave., New York, New York|
|Area||35 acres (14 ha)|
|Architectural style||Colonial, Queen Anne, Bungalow|
|NRHP reference No.||83001688 |
|Added to NRHP||September 30, 1983|
Ditmas Park is a historic district in the neighborhood of Flatbush in Brooklyn, New York City. The traditional boundaries of Ditmas Park, including Ditmas Park West, are Ocean Avenue and greater Flatbush to the east, Dorchester Road and the Prospect Park South neighborhood to the north, Coney Island Avenue and the Kensington neighborhood to the west, and Avenue H/Bay Ridge Branch and the Midwood neighborhood to the south. Ditmas Park is patrolled by the New York City Police Department's 70th Precinct, and is within Brooklyn Community District 14. The New York City Subway's B and Q trains serve Ditmas Park.
The neighborhood is located on land formerly owned by the Ditmas family. The area remained rural until the 1890s. At that time, Brooklyn was becoming more popular, due to the development of Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Bridge, along with improved transportation in New York City. Lewis H. Pounds was one of the early developers of the area now known as Ditmas Park Historic District, or "Victorian Flatbush." This eight-block national historic district consists of 2,000 to 2,500 largely residential buildings built between 1902 and 1914. Many of the buildings are large, free-standing, single-family homes with gables and front porches. Most of the building architects were local to the Flatbush or Brooklyn area, and they specialized in suburban buildings. Architectural styles of the area's buildings include Colonial Revival, Bungalow/Craftsman, Queen Anne, Tudor, Greek Revival, and Japanese Cottage. These styles are uncommon in Brooklyn, where brownstones and rowhouses are typical. The district also includes apartment buildings, a commercial district along Cortelyou Road, and one church, the brick Neo-Georgian Flatbush-Tompkins Congregational Church (1910).
Newkirk Avenue, Coney Island Avenue, Cortelyou Road, Foster Avenue, and Church Avenue are the neighborhood's commercial strips while many of their north–south streets are lined with historic Victorian style homes. Since much of Ditmas Park is residential, many locals go to nearby Park Slope to run errands and shop, although the neighborhood has seen increased commercialization due to its recent gentrification.
The Ditmas Park Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, wealthy families purchased the large Victorian homes, but in the past few years, the neighborhood has experienced rapid gentrification, with an influx of young people and artists attracted to the large spaces for relatively cheap rents. An example of this is Cortelyou Road, a commercial street in the neighborhood. Cortelyou enjoys a number of delis, bars, coffee shops, restaurants, the Flatbush Food Co-op, and more upscale restaurants. Cortelyou is also home to many venues, which attracts many local musicians, as well as more well-known artists.
In October 2009, Time Out New York named Ditmas Park one of the best neighborhoods in New York City for food. Similar articles praising Ditmas Park for its food have appeared in The New York Times and AM New York.
The area is also frequently used for movie and TV filming due to its Victorian houses, which project a suburban feel.
The Ditmas Park Association, founded in 1908, hosts social events, publishes a newsletter and a home improvement directory, and works on numerous civic issues, often jointly with its sister neighborhoods and the Flatbush Development Corporation. The Flatbush Development Corporation hosts an annual Victorian Flatbush House Tour.
Other neighborhood associations also serve parts of the neighborhood, such as the Ditmas Park West Neighborhood Association (DPW), and Beverley Square West Neighborhood Association. DPW runs a Yahoo group for the neighborhood. Flatbush Artists is also based in the area and has an annual artwalk featuring artists who live in the area.
Beginning in March 2012, the website Ditmas Park Corner documented important events and openings in the area, and served as a forum for discussions and inquiries about the neighborhood; as of 2017 the site was incorporated into the Brooklyn-wide news site Bklyner. For a brief period of time in the early 2010s, Ditmas Park Corner had competition from Ditmas Park Patch, one of a series of neighborhood news organizations run by AOL.
New York City Subway stops in or very near to Ditmas Park are Beverley Road (Q train), Cortelyou Road (Q train), Newkirk Plaza (B and Q trains), and Avenue H (Q train). MTA-operated express buses that run through Ditmas Park are the BM1, BM2, BM3 and BM4, and local buses are the B8, B68 and B103.
- Aaron Dessner (born 1976), of The National
- Bryce Dessner (born 1976), composer and guitarist
- Ric Menello (1952-2013), screenwriter and director, co-directed the Beastie Boys' music videos "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)" and "No Sleep till Brooklyn".
- Roy Nathanson (born 1951), saxophonist, composer, bandleader who became the leader and principal composer of the Jazz Passengers
- Tim O'Brien (born 1964), illustrator
- Ben Smith, former editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed
- Sonja Sohn (born 1964), actress
- Sufjan Stevens (born 1975), singer-songwriter
- Michelle Williams (born 1980), actress
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
- Flatbush Brooklyn Neighborhoods
- 70th Precinct, New York City Police Department, Accessed September 26, 2017. "This precinct is home to Midwood, Fiske Terrace, Ditmas Park, and Prospect Park South."
- Larry Gobrecht (August 1983). "National Register of Historic Places Registration:Ditmas Park Historic District". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2011-03-12. See also: "Accompanying 23 photos".
- Times, The New York (2016-01-12). "Block by Block: Ditmas Park (Published 2016)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-01-06.
- Inserra, Jonah (2018-03-06). "Ditmas Park Is Home to One of the Largest Collections of Victorian Homes in the Country". Untapped New York. Retrieved 2021-01-06.
- "7 reasons to buy an apartment—or an entire Victorian house—in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn". Brick Underground. 2018-07-10. Retrieved 2021-01-06.
- "Ditmas Park Historic District Designation Report" (PDF). City of New York.
- Nat Baldwin | Concerts | Time Out New York
- Freedman, Lisa (2009-09-01). "Why I Love Ditmas Park". Time Out New York. Archived from the original on 2010-01-23. Retrieved 2010-01-22.
- Shannon, Jonathan (2009-10-25). "Your $30 Sunday". Time Out New York. Archived from the original on 2010-09-02. Retrieved 2010-01-22.
- Mooney, Jake (2009-11-13). "Moved for the Space; Stayed for the Food". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-22.
- "About". Ditmas Park Corner. ditmasparkcorner.com. Archived from the original on November 30, 2016.
- "About Us". Bklyner. bklyner.com. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
- "Cortelyou Library". Brooklyn Public Library. August 19, 2011. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
- "Brooklyn Bus Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. October 2020. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
- Salisbury, Vanita. "While Stuck in Traffic, the National's Aaron Dessner Fantasizes About Living in Rural New England", New York (magazine), December 1, 2011. Accessed November 21, 2016. "Name: Aaron Dessner; Age: 35; Neighborhood: Ditmas Park"
- Kompanek, Christopher. "National’s treasure", New York Post, May 19, 2011. Accessed September 26, 2017. "Unlike an actual suburb, though, Ditmas Park is filled with musicians, including Sufjan Stevens and Dessner’s brother, Bryce, who plays guitar for the National."
- "Remembering Ric Menello". Ditmas Park Corner. 2013-03-02. Archived from the original on 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2013-03-17.
- Blumenfeld, Larry. "Brooklynite Writes Jazz With a Poet's Pen", The Wall Street Journal, May 17, 2011. Accessed September 26, 2017. "If you see saxophonist Roy Nathanson on the Q train, head down and pen out, he's working on a poem. 'I can only write poetry while riding the subway,' he said recently from the living room of his house in Brooklyn's Ditmas Park."
- Roalf, Peggy. "The Q&A: Tim O'Brien", AI-AP presents DART, December 29, 2014. Accessed November 21, 2016. "Originally from North Haven, Connecticut, I moved to Brooklyn and in with my then girlfriend/now wife, Scholastic Creative Director Elizabeth Parisi, in the early 90s when Brooklyn was still a city in transition. Park Slope was beginning to be gentrified and when we felt we were priced out in ’96, we bought a large Victorian home in another neighborhood in transition, Ditmas Park."
- Quenqua, Douglas (15 February 2013). "The Boy Wonder of BuzzFeed". The New York Times.
- Plitt, Amy. "Here's How Michelle Williams Will Transform Her Crumbling Brooklyn Mansion; The Oscar-nominated actress is planning some big changes to the Ditmas Park home", Curbed New York, March 16, 2016. Accessed November 21, 2016. "Last year, actress Michelle Williams put down roots in Ditmas Park, buying a sprawling eight-bedroom mansion at 1440 Albemarle Road for $2.5 million."