Kensington, Brooklyn

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Coordinates: 40°38′19″N 73°58′23″W / 40.638528°N 73.973167°W / 40.638528; -73.973167

Kensington American Foursquare Houses

Kensington is a neighborhood in the central portion of the New York City borough of Brooklyn, located south of Prospect Park and the Green-Wood Cemetery. It is bordered by Coney Island Avenue to the east, Fort Hamilton Parkway and Caton Avenue to the north, McDonald Avenue and 36th Street to the west, and 18th Avenue to the south.[1] The neighborhoods that border Kensington and Parkville are Ditmas Park and Prospect Park South to the east (both of which are parts of Flatbush), Windsor Terrace to the north, Borough Park to the west, and Midwood to the south.

Kensington is a predominantly residential area that consists of housing types that run the gamut from brick rowhouses to detached one-family Victorians to apartment buildings. Pre-war brick apartment buildings dominate the Ocean Parkway and Coney Island Avenue frontage, including many that operate as co-ops. The neighborhood has a diverse population with residents of many ethnicities. The main commercial streets are Coney Island Avenue, Church Avenue, Ditmas Avenue, and McDonald Avenue. Ocean Parkway bisects the neighborhood east-west. Kensington's ZIP Code is 11218 and it is served by the NYPD's 66th Precinct.[2]


Location of Kensington, including Parkville, in New York City
Kensington Post Office, listed on the NRHP

The land where Kensington now sits was first colonized by Dutch farmers during the seventeenth century within the Town of Flatbush. It was re-settled by British colonists in 1737. Developed in 1885 after the completion of Ocean Parkway, the neighborhood was named after the place and borough in West London, at the turn of the century.[3]

Ocean Parkway, which starts in Kensington, was finished in 1880; it features about five miles (8 km) of landscaped malls, benches, chess tables, and walking and bike paths, linking Prospect Park to Coney Island and is now part of the Brooklyn-Queens Greenway. Homebuilding began in earnest in the 1920s and attracted Italian and Irish immigrants to the neighborhood. Brick and brownstone townhouses coexist with single- and two-family homes with yards and garages. Five- and six-story pre- and post-war apartment buildings and co-ops are also common.

The small area between 18th and Foster Avenues, in the southern portion of the neighborhood, contains a distinctive, slightly diagonal street grid and is also known as Parkville. The area, originally part of the town of Flatbush, was originally known as Greenville and its land was first acquired in 1852 by the Freeman's Association, shortly after the completion of Coney Island Avenue on the eastern boundary of Kensington and Parkville. Public School 92 (later PS 134), as well as a Catholic church, called St. Rose of Lima, was built in 1870. A librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library wrote that "Parkville is one of those wonky neighborhoods that isn't often referenced" because of its small size.[1]

On September 30, 2019 a fiery explosion at 820 Friel Place, caused a building to partially collapse injuring 3 people. [4]


Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of Kensington-Ocean Parkway was 36,891, a decrease of 46 (0.1%) from the 36,937 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 364.84 acres (147.65 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 101.1 inhabitants per acre (64,700/sq mi; 25,000/km2).[5]

The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 47.9% (17,686) White, 6.9% (2,558) African American, 0.1% (49) Native American, 24.1% (8,879) Asian, 0.0% (9) Pacific Islander, 0.7% (274) from other races, and 2.5% (926) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.6% (6,510) of the population.[6]

Kensington is a very diverse neighborhood, containing South Asian (Bangladeshi Pakistani and Indian), Orthodox Jewish (Hasidic), Latin American, Central Asian (Uzbek and Tajik mostly), Polish, Italian, and Russian communities.[7][8][9][10][11][12]


The Culver Ramp takes the IND Culver Line from a tunnel to an elevated structure.

The New York City Subway's IND Culver Line (F, <F>, and ​G trains) runs along the western part of the neighborhood and stops underground at Fort Hamilton Parkway and at Church Avenue. The line rises above ground to an elevated structure (F and <F>​ trains) to serve the Ditmas Avenue and 18th Avenue stations.[13] In addition, Kensington is served by the B8, B16, B35, B67, B68, B69, B70, B103 local buses, as well as the BM1, BM2, BM3, BM4 express buses to Manhattan.[14]



18th Avenue library

The Kensington branch of the Brooklyn Public Library is located at 4207 18th Avenue, near the intersection of Seton Place and East Second Street. It was originally created in 1908 as a "deposit station" with a small collection, and was located at P.S. 134, three blocks east of the current library. Within four years, it had moved twice, and in 1912, it relocated to 770 McDonald Avenue, at the southwest corner of Ditmas Avenue. The library moved again in 1960 to a location four blocks east, on 410 Ditmas Avenue, between East 4th & East 5th Streets. The current facility opened in 2012.[15]


Public schools in Kensington include four public primary schools: P.S. 130 (shared with Windsor Terrace), P.S. 230, P.S. 179, and P.S. 134. There are three middle schools: M.S. 839, J.H.S. 62 and J.H.S. 23. The area has no public high schools.[16] There is also an Orthodox Jewish school called Yeshiva Torah Vodaas.[17]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b "What's Up With Parkville?". Brooklyn Public Library. February 18, 2015. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  2. ^ 66th Precinct, NYPD.
  3. ^ "Ask the Historian". WNYC. Retrieved July 31, 2010. When the developers were buying up the farmland at the end of the 19th and the early 20th centuries, they wanted to attract the wealthy to buy their new homes. Giving English-sounding names made it an attraction. Kensington is a suburb of London.
  4. ^ Cassady, Daniel; Mongelli, Lorena; Musumeci, Natalie (September 30, 2019). "Three injured in fiery Brooklyn home explosion". New York Post. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  5. ^ Table PL-P5 NTA: Total Population and Persons Per Acre - New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010, Population Division - New York City Department of City Planning, February 2012. Accessed June 16, 2016.
  6. ^ Table PL-P3A NTA: Total Population by Mutually Exclusive Race and Hispanic Origin - New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010, Population Division - New York City Department of City Planning, March 29, 2011. Accessed June 14, 2016.
  7. ^ ""Shubho Noboborsho!" - Kensington Celebrates Bengali New Year". April 16, 2018.
  8. ^ "Bangladeshi community grows in Kensington".
  9. ^ "Kensington | The Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative (BJHI)". BJHI.
  10. ^ "Uzbek Food Shopping Tour in Brooklyn".
  11. ^ "Inside the Brooklyn Uzbek Community, After Several of Its Own Were Arrested Under Suspicion of Terrorism". Intelligencer. November 5, 2015.
  12. ^ "About Us - P.S. 179 Kensington".
  13. ^ "Subway Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. October 21, 2019. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  14. ^ "Brooklyn Bus Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. October 2020. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  15. ^ "Kensington Library". Brooklyn Public Library. August 19, 2011. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  16. ^ Mooney, Jake (May 25, 2008). "Living in Kensington, Brooklyn Name From London, People From Everywhere". New York Times. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  17. ^ "Yeshiva Torah Vodaath".
  18. ^ "A Giant in Our Midst: The Legacy of Rav Chaim Yisroel Belsky zt"l at the OU". OU Kosher Certification. February 11, 2016.
  19. ^ "The Consummate American Gadol". Jewish Action. June 21, 2016.
  20. ^ a b Ryzik, Melena. "Mr. Strummy-Strum Tries a Synth Sound", The New York Times, October 14, 2010. Accessed May 15, 2016. "'Music comes really easily to Sufjan,' said Bryce Dessner, a founder of the band the National and a neighbor of Mr. Stevens’s in Kensington, Brooklyn."
  21. ^ Geberer, Raanan. "Former volunteers, now in Brooklyn, recall Summer Voting-Rights Project of 1965", Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 23, 2015. Accessed August 7, 2017. "Jo Freeman, a lawyer, professor and writer, moved to lower Park Slope in 1979 after she was admitted to NYU Law School and has lived in Kensington since 1985."
  22. ^ see page 8
  23. ^ "Frank Terpil - Confessions Of A Dangerous Man". YouTube. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  24. ^ Rosenblum, Jonathan. "Rabbi Nisson Wolpin, zt"l :: Jewish Media Resources".
  25. ^ "Rabbi Nisson Wolpin, z"l: Shloshim Recollections". May 28, 2017.

External links[edit]