Prospect Lefferts Gardens
Prospect Lefferts Gardens is a residential neighborhood in the Flatbush area of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. The community is bounded by Empire Boulevard (formerly Malbone Street) to the north, Clarkson Avenue to the south, New York Avenue to the east, and Ocean Avenue/Prospect Park to the west. Prospect Lefferts Gardens is part of Brooklyn Community Board 9 and is serviced by the New York City Police Department's 71st Precinct.
The neighborhood contains an ethnically diverse community with a largely Caribbean-American and African-American population. However, in recent years, Prospect Lefferts Gardens has been gentrifying quickly. Real estate development has increased and new residents from other groups have increased.
The name Prospect Lefferts Gardens was created in 1968 by the Prospect Lefferts Gardens Neighborhood Association (PLGNA). Prospect Lefferts Gardens is a combination of the names of three nearby locations: Prospect Park, Lefferts Manor, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. This neighborhood was known as Crown Heights until gentrification.
The area was originally settled by a Dutch family in 1660, at which time it was within the Town of Flatbush. In 1893 the Lefferts estate was divided by James Lefferts into 600 building lots, now known as Lefferts Manor, and sold to developers. Lefferts observed construction from the Lefferts homestead, then located on Flatbush Avenue between Maple and Midwood Streets (now a historic museum located in Prospect Park). In order to ensure that the neighborhood would contain homes of a substantial nature, Lefferts attached land-use deed restrictions, dictating that each lot contain a single family residence built of brick or stone at least two stories in height, among other restrictions. The land-use covenant still exists in Lefferts Manor. Houses in Lefferts Manor were mostly constructed during the late 19th century and early 20th century, the last of which were constructed in the early 1950s. Patio Gardens, the last large development built before the wave of gentrification in the mid-2000s, was constructed in the early 1960s.
Lefferts Manor and parts of Lefferts Avenue and Sterling Street, not in the single-family covenant, were granted landmark status by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission on October 9, 1979. The Lefferts Manor Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. In 2009 the neighborhood gained a second landmark district when the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the Ocean on the Park Historic District. As a small, early 20th century enclave that is set-back from the street, this historic district consists of only 2 brick and 10 limestone townhouses. Yet it stands in striking architectural contrast to the long line of large and stately apartment buildings which otherwise dominate Ocean Avenue at the southeastern border of Prospect Park. In 2014 a third small historic district–Chester Court, a cull-de-sac off the west side of Flatbush Avenue, near Rutland Road, was designated. The Chester Court Historic District has 18 Tudor-revival townhouses, similar to those on Rutland Road in the main Historic District.
Concurrent with the development of Lefferts Manor was the growth of the surrounding area, now known collectively as Prospect Lefferts Gardens. Many one and two family homes were constructed in the early 20th century. Presently, other areas of Prospect Lefferts Gardens contain a mixture of single-family and multi-family homes as well as larger apartment houses.
Prospect Lefferts Gardens has a long tradition of community participation and involvement. In 2009, PLG Arts transformed multiple drab-looking construction facades into murals that reflected the area and its artists. LinRoFORMA, founded 2010, organizes Lincoln Road residents and businesses to revitalize the street and neighborhood. PLG Community Supported Agriculture links the community and a Connecticut farm, bringing organic produce and vegetables to residents and providing sustainability for future growth. Strong interest in improved food options led to the formation of the Lefferts Community Food Cooperative in 2009, a market that uses cooperative principles to sell socially responsible and healthy food products. The Maple Street Community Garden, founded in 2012 at 237 Maple St., is a communally managed organic vegetable garden open to the public, and runs an active composting program. Other organizations include the Lefferts Manor Association, which was founded in 1919 to enforce the single family covenant; and PLGNA, the Prospect Lefferts Gardens Neighborhood Association, founded 1968.
There are four public schools within the area's borders which are part of NYC School District 17. Two middle schools include M.S. 002 for sixth to eighth graders and M.S. 61 which serves the sixth through ninth grades. P.S. 92 is an elementary school for kindergarten through fifth grade. In 2010, the Lefferts Gardens Charter School opened an elementary program that focuses on environmental science and experiential learning.
As in Brooklyn in general, residents tend to be in close contact with their representatives. In 2010 New York State Senator Eric Adams (20th Senate District) gained national prominence with his "Stop the Sag" program. Although some individuals supported the advertising campaign and some derided it, the attention Adams received was unusual for a state senator.
On a local level, the neighborhood is part of Community Board 9 and also has the 71st Precinct Community Council. Although most of the neighborhood is represented in the state assembly by Assembly Member Diana C. Richardson (Assembly District 43) a small portion is represented by Assembly Member Walter Mosley (Assembly District 57).
Other officials governing the area include: Council Member Dr. Mathieu Eugene (City Council District 40), Borough President Adams, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (11th District of New York), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Senator Charles E. Schumer.
The Prospect Lefferts Gardens neighborhood is serviced by the New York City Subway's B Q S trains at the Prospect Park station and the Q train at the Parkside Avenue station (both on the BMT Brighton Line), as well as the Sterling Street and Winthrop Street stations on the IRT Nostrand Avenue Line (2 5 trains). Additionally, the B12, B16, B41, B43, B44, B44 SBS, B48, B49 New York City Bus routes serve the area.
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- "Prospect – Lefferts Gardens". point2homes.com. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
- Alison Gregor (March 13, 2014). "Prospect-Lefferts Gardens Is ‘On the Map’". The New York Times. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
- Emily Nonko. "How Brooklyn neighborhoods got their names part 5: Boerum Hill, Crown Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, and Sunset Park". Explore Brooklyn. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
- "Why Prospect Lefferts Gardens Will Never Be 'Heights Park'". Curbed NY. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
- "On This Day in History: Prospect-Lefferts Gardens Become Historic District". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. October 9, 2008. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- The Origins of Lefferts Manor. Retrieved November 13, 2006 Archived November 10, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
- Prospect-Lefferts Garden Historic District
- National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- Ocean On The Park Historic District
- 20th Senate District
- "Stop The Sag – Raise Your Pants, Raise Your Image". NY State Senate. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
- Brooklyn Community District 9
- 71st Precinct Community Council
- Precinct 71
- Assembly District 43
- Assembly District 57
- City Council District 40
- "New York’s 11th Congressional District". GovTrack.us. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
- "Brooklyn Bus Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. November 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
- Mooney, Jake (2010-07-23). "Historic Architecture Near Prospect Park". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-07-25.
- Krase, Jerome; Desena, Judith N. (2016). Race, Class, and Gentrification in Brooklyn: A View from the Street. Lexington Books. ISBN 978-1-4985-1255-8.
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