Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn
Windsor Terrace is a quiet residential neighborhood in the northwestern part of the New York City borough of Brooklyn, situated between Prospect Park and Green-Wood Cemetery. It lies between the neighborhoods of Park Slope to the northeast and Kensington to the south.
The neighborhood is nine blocks wide, and is patrolled by the NYPD's 72nd Precinct, located at 830 4th Avenue in the Sunset Park neighborhood. FDNY services are provided by Engine Company 240 located at 1307 Prospect Avenue, located within the neighborhood. Windsor Terrace is part of Community Board 7.
History and description
Before the coming of Europeans to the New World, the area which is now Windsor Terrace was inhabited by the Canarsee Indians. The land, which was then within the Town of Flatbush, was purchased as a farm by John Vanderbilt, and was divided in two upon his death. These were sold to William Bell, a real estate developer, in 1848 or 1849. Bell subdivided the land into 47 building lots, and, unlike some other developers in the general area, was able to sell them rather quickly. By 1851 the development had been incorporated as the Village of Windsor Terrace, which was bounded by Church Avenue on the south, McDonald Avenue on the west, the Brooklyn–Flatbush town line on the north, and Prospect Park Southwest and Coney Island Avenue on the east. Additional blocks were developed in 1862. Fourteen years later, by 1876, the village boasted a public school, and by 1888 its own volunteer fire department.
The village remained rural in feel until around 1900, when row houses began to be built throughout the area, at first along Prospect Park Southwest. Development began to pick up pace around 1925, with the building of single-family and two-family houses, stores, and apartment buildings on Prospect Avenue. Many of the new occupants of these residences were Irish-American workers, some of whose families then remained there for generations.
Even into the 1960s, Windsor Terrace was an isolated neighborhood with a quiet small-town feel to it, although the construction of the Prospect Expressway brought more through-traffic into the area. Gentrification of the neighborhood began in the 1980s, with families who could not afford the prices in Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope coming to Windsor Terrace instead. Additional two-family housing funded with publicly assistance were built and sold by lottery. In the late 1980s, the neighborhood was rezoned to prevent the construction of high-rise buildings, guaranteeing that much of the quality of this family-oriented neighborhood would remain into the future.
As of March 1, 2015[update], after the closing of the only supermarket in the neighborhood – as in other gentrified neighborhoods in Brooklyn – a food co-op, using the model of the Park Slope Food Coop, was in the process of being organized. When opened, it is projected to serve both as a supplier of food and a community focal point.
According to The Neighborhoods of Brooklyn, Windsor Terrace is bounded by Prospect Park West on the north, Prospect Park Southwest and Coney Island Avenue on the east, Caton Avenue on the south and McDonald Avenue on the west, however, the Encyclopedia of New York City gives the boundaries as Seventh Avenue and Prospect Park West on the north, Prospect Park Southwest to the east, and Green-Wood Cemetery to the south and west. Other sources extend the northwest corner to Eighth Avenue along 15th Street and 20th Street.
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 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 nuance 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 grown unnoticeably into the quiet enclave of Windsor Terrace, which to this day maintains a small-town ambience.
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 20th 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 Ninth 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, as Greek and Hispanic residents have moved in. There is also a small minority of Syrians, Maronite Lebanese, and Jewish-Americans. Many of the Jewish Americans now living in this neighborhood are affiliated with the local synagogue, Chabad Jewish Center.
Education and libraries
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, the St Joseph the Worker Catholic Academy, opened in 2012. The new school is 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.
The Brooklyn Public Library's Windsor Terrace branch is located at East 5th Street at Fort Hamilton Parkway. It began as a deposit station in 1922, and later moved to a makeshift library created out of two old streetcars. The current library building was opened in 1969.
As elsewhere in Brooklyn, trolley service, operated by the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation, ran in the neighborhood well into the 1950s and early '60s. A former trolley barn located between Greenwood Cemetery and the Prospect Expressway, built originally for the Culver and Crosstown trolley lines, was replaced in 1962 by the Bishop Ford Central Catholic High School.
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.
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 Frank McCourt, 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. Screenwriter Mindy Kaling lived in Windsor Terrace, where she penned her award-winning play Matt & Ben with then-roommate Brenda Withers.
In popular culture
- 1971 – Scenes for the film Desperate Characters were shot in Windsor Terrace. Shirley MacLaine is said to have stopped in for a drink at Farrell's Bar & Grill, at 16th Street and Prospect Park West, while making the film. Farrell's is an old and noted institution which has been open since 1933, and has been used as a standard bar backdrop in many other film sequences.
- 1975 – Most of the Al Pacino film Dog Day Afternoon was filmed on Prospect Park West between 17th Street and 18th Street in Windsor Terrace, in what was then a paint factory warehouse, but is now a condominium building.
- 1979 – Scenes from The Gift were filmed in Windsor Terrace.
- 1985 – The film Turk 182 shot some of its scenes in Windsor Terrace.
- 1986 – Scenes from Brighton Beach Memoirs were shot in the neighborhood
- 1994 – The opening scene in the Geena Davis film Angie was shot in Windsor Terrace, on Fuller Place.
- 1995 – Director Wayne Wang's films Smoke and Blue in the Face were filmed at the former Post Office location at the corner of 16th Street and Prospect Park West.
- 1995 – In August, 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.
- 1997 – As Good as It Gets shows Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt walking through the streets of Prospect Park West and past the row houses that characterize the neighborhood. Hunt's character lived on Howard Place, one street down from Fuller Place where Geena Davis's character lived in Angie.
- 1998 – Darren Aronofsky's film π has several subway shots filmed in the 15th Street-Prospect Park station.
- 1998 – Scenes from the film Ragtime were shot in Windsor Terrace.
- 2000 – Farrell's Bar & Grill is seen in the film Pollock with Ed Harris.
- 2012 – The Amazing Spider-Man shot scenes on Fuller Place.
- "Windsor Terrace" in Jackson, Kenneth T. (general ed.) and Manbeck, John B. (consulting ed.) (2004) The Neighborhoods of Brooklyn. (2nd edition) New Haven, Connecticut: Citizens for NYC and Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-10310-7, pp.212-214
- White, Norval & Willensky, Elliot with Leadon, Fran (2010). AIA Guide to New York City (5th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195383867., p.718
- 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
- 72nd Precinct, NYPD
- Burrows, Edwin G. & Wallace, Mike (1999). Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195116348., p.933
- Gallagher, John J. "Windsor Terrace" in Jackson, Kenneth T. (ed.), (2010) The Encyclopedia of New York City (2nd edition). New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-11465-2, p.1405
- Miller, Stuart (February 27, 2015). "In Brooklyn, First Comes Gentrification, Then Comes a Food Co-op". The New York Times. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
- "Windsor Terrace" Google Maps Accessed:February 26, 2015
- New York City demographic shifts, 2000 to 2010, Center for Urban Research
- 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
- "Windsor Terrace Library" on the Brooklyn Public Library website
- "Horseback Riding" on the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation website
- "Kensington Real Estate" on NYC.gov
- Asimov FAQ
- Kaling, Mindy (September 18, 2012). Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). Three Rivers Press. p. 222. ISBN 0307886271.
- "179 Prospect Park Southwest, Brooklyn" on the New York City Geographic Information Services Map
- 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