Sea Gate, Brooklyn
Sea Gate is a private gated community at the far western end of Coney Island at the southwestern tip of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. It contains mostly single-family homes, some directly on Gravesend Bay.
The area that is now Sea Gate was once known as Norton's Point. "Norton" was the name of the owner of a casino, which was situated where the Coney Island Light now stands. The neighborhood held a reputation for gambling before it was developed into a residential neighborhood.
Sea Gate was developed into a full neighborhood in 1892 by developer Alrick Man. By 1899, Sea Gate property owners included the Morgan, Dodge, and Vanderbilt families. Governor Al Smith and others frequented the Atlantic Yacht Club, whose clubhouse was designed by Stanford White. Sea Gate is surrounded on three sides by water with private beaches. In 1995, the Army Corps of Engineers completed its work of replenishing Coney beaches and building new jetties, including a long jetty at the border of Sea Gate and Coney Island.
In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy devastated the neighborhood, which was inundated by ocean water and battered by strong winds. The area sustained significant damage and numerous houses were destroyed. The "Lindy Park" sea wall/bulkhead (officially known as Beach Reservation extending from Beach 48th Street to Beach 50th Street) was destroyed leaving Sea Gate, Coney Island and beyond open to any rough seas and additional damage.
Residents refer to Sea Gate as "the gate" and venturing into adjoining Coney Island as going "out the gate". There are no stores in the neighborhood. There are express buses to Manhattan, which take an average of 80 minutes. As of 2010[update] Sea Gate is made up of 832 single-family houses in a variety of architectural styles, including Queen Anne Style and Mediterranean.
There are two landmarks in Sea Gate. Located on Beach 47th Street in Sea Gate is the 75-foot-tall (23 m) Coney Island Light, is a lighthouse built in 1890, before the area was populated. The lighthouse is the former home of Frank Schubert, the United States' last civilian lighthouse keeper, who died in 2003. The chapel in Sea Gate, once used for services and built in 1901, is a historical building now used for social events, yoga classes, and is a polling site at election times. The Chapel with its stained-glass windows is the first structure seen when entering the main (police protected) gate.
In addition to large and private beach areas, Sea Gate has two parks:
- A playground with a basketball court and children's jungle gym pieces next to the Sea Gate Community Center on Surf Avenue.
- Beach Reservation (as referred to on the map of Sea Gate, VI.a, 1894) is near the Coney Island Light and extends before and beyond Norton's Point. A sandy/grassy patch of land with views of Lower New York Harbor and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. It is nicknamed "Lindy Park", commemorating Charles Lindbergh.
Sea Gate is largely populated by families living in single- and two-family houses, 54% being rentals. As of 2000, the median age was 38.6 years and the median household income was $41,659. In addition to city and state taxes, residents also pay dues and charges to the Sea Gate Association, which have averaged $3,000 per year.
- Chaim Zanvl Abramowitz (1902-1995), "the Ribnitzer Rebbe"
- Mordechai Ben David and his son, Yeedle, singers
- Leonard Everett Fisher (born 1924), writer (The Jetty Chronicles)
- Jack Foley (1891-1967), inventor of movie sound effects techniques
- Yossi Green, Jewish music composer
- Herbie Kronowitz, middleweight boxing contender in the 1940s
- Ludwig Satz, Yiddish theater and film actor
- Sandra Seacat, actress/acting teacher and coach (lived there as Sandra Kaufman, her then-married name, for most of the 1960s)
- Beverly Sills, opera singer
- Isaac Bashevis Singer, Yiddish author
- Irwin Winkler, Oscar-winning film producer and director
- Hughes, C.J. (September 3, 2010). "Living In Sea Gate, Brooklyn". New York Times. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
- Superstorm Sandy: Residents survey damage in New York's famed Coney Island, oregonlive.com; accessed March 27, 2017.
- "Sea Gate PD: An Integral Element of New York's First Gated Community". Without a Badge. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
- Broker Website for Sea Gate, Brooklyn, agentachieve.com; accessed August 4, 2017.
- Berger, Joseph. "Enclaves, Long Gated, Seek to Let In Storm Aid", The New York Times, November 26, 2012; accessed March 27, 2017.
"Pinny Dembitzer, president of the Sea Gate Association, said that since the national economic downturn, many residents were unable to pay maintenance charges averaging $3,000, which could jeopardize the solvency of the association."
- Teitelbaum, C. S. "Songs for the Soul: The man behind 'Neshama Flam'", Hamodia, June 16, 2011, pg. 18.
- Yanover, Yori. "His Brooklyn Home Destroyed by Sandy, Singer Mordechai Ben David Is Making Aliyah", The Jewish Press, November 8, 2012; accessed March 27, 2017.
"Only three days ago, popular singer and songwriter Mordechai Werdyger, known by his thousands of Orthodox Jewish fans as Mordechai Ben David, or just MBD, shot and distributed a video clip depicting the destruction of his neighborhood, Sea Gate, at the southwestern tip of Brooklyn, NY, in an effort to raise awareness—and donations—to rebuild this once thriving Jewish community."
- Lauterborn, Mike. "Resident Reflections: Leonard Everett Fisher", Westport News, February 17, 2011; accessed March 27, 2017.
"'I was born in the Bronx in June 1924, and, at 8 or 9, moved to Sea Gate in Brooklyn, America's first gated community, where the family had initially summered', Fisher said."
- Rodrigues Singer, Philip. The Story of Jack Foley, Marblehead Publishing Company; accessed March 27, 2017.
"Jack was born in Yorkville, N.Y. in 1891, and was raised in the Seagate section of Coney Island."
- Gray, Tom. "Shaw's St. Joan a Role She Loves, Sandra Says". The Atlanta Constitution. October 7, 1965.
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