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A History of Williamsburg

Now one of the biggest communities in Brooklyn, Williamsburg dates back to the 17th Century, when land was purchased by the Dutch West India Company from Native Americans. Williamsburg is one of the most diverse areas in New York City, and has recently seen a surge in its cultural and musical attractions. This neighborhood is ideal for anyone looking for attractive housing that is situated close to parks, recreation and employment opportunities.

During its earliest days, Williamsburg was known as Bushwick or Bushwick Shore. Local farmers would gather near what is present day Grand Street to market their produce, leading to a number of other farm developments in the area. Eventually a developer named Jonathan Williams acquired land along what is now Metropolitan Avenue, and in 1802 renamed that area Williamsburgh in honor of himself.

Incorporation soon followed, as did the development of a post office, fire station and numerous shipyards. Williamsburgh’s location on the East River made it a major shipping hub, and resulted in numerous factories expanding there. Due to its expansive growth, it officially separated from the town of Bushwick in 1840, and dropped the “h” from the end of its name to become simply Williamsburg.

In 1855, Williamsburg was officially annexed into the city of Brooklyn, becoming a part of that city’s Eastern District. It would later become a part of New York City in 1898, when Brooklyn became one of the Big Apple’s five boroughs.

Immigrants began arriving in Williamsburg around the beginning of the 20th Century.  Many of these immigrants were from Europe, and primarily settled in the town’s north side. Williamsburg grew so fast from 1900 to 1920 that it became the most densely populated are in all of New York City by 1917. New housing projects sprang up throughout Williamsburg to handle the influx of people who were now calling Williamsburg their home. In the 1960s, Williamsburg grew even more, thanks to hundreds of Hispanic and Puerto Rican immigrants who began relocating there.

In recent years, Williamsburg has undergone gentrification, a type of urban renewal that occurs whenever more affluent residents begin widely locating to a particular area, replacing the previous demographic. This likely occurred as a result of a large-scale rezoning of Williamsburg’s waterfront district and the entire North Side of Brooklyn. As such, significant revitalization has taken place in many areas, especially former factories located near the water.

Peter Cooper Village Stuyvesant Town

If you’re interested in finding an apartment near Williamsburg, an excellent community to consider would be Peter Cooper Village Stuyvesant Town. With a wide range of apartments, PCVST is located near a number of local landmarks, and is also the only stop on the “L" train. Make plans today to view some of the properties that are available.