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Transcript of Williamsburg
There were 1,279 families occupying the land that was demolished for the project, and nearly 2,000 children..
It took $100,000,000 for the Housing Divion of the PWA to clear the slums and build housing.
The project was completed in 5 months as a relief project under the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. Williamsburg faced decline following World War II
1955 - Brooklyn-Queens Expressway plowed through the center of Williamsburg, essentially cutting the neighborhood in half displaced working class residents + businesses
worsened the traffic, noise, and air pollution problem Cheap rent attracts Hasidic Jews and Puerto Ricans
cramped up living conditions and competition for housing leads to tension between ethnic groups Williamsburg Housing Site. Tenements: Boy on 1st floor roof of house looks up at woman with 2 children on 3rd floor of frame building (via NYC Municipal Archives). 1955-1970 Brooklyn Navy Yard Shuts Down (1966) It's cheaper to transport goods by highway
Used to be area's largest employer
Aggravated the housing shortage Works Cited Anasi, Robert. The Last Bohemia: Scenes from the Life of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012. Print.
Ashby, Matthew. "Williamsburg 2000: Reflections on the Colonial Artist." Massachusetts Review 53.1 (2012): 146-62. Print.
The Brooklyn Historical Society, ed. Williamsburg Neighborhood History Guide. Brooklyn: Brooklyn Historical Society, 2000. Print.
Curran, Winifred. "'From the Frying Pan to the Oven': Gentrification and the Experience of Industrial Displacement in Williamsburg, Brooklyn." Urban Studies 44.8 (2007): 1427-440. Print.
Curran, Winifred. "In Defense of Old Industrial Spaces: Manufacturing, Creativity and Innovation in Williamsburg, Brooklyn." International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (2010): No. Print.
Jackson, Kenneth T., and John B. Manbeck. The Neighborhoods of Brooklyn. [New York]: Citizens Committee for New York City, 1998. Print.
"New York Magazine." Williamsburg, Brooklyn. New York Magazine, n.d. Web. 29 April 2013.
Pfalum, Will. "New York Architecture Images- Williamsburg, Brooklyn-History." New York Architecture Images- Williamsburg, Brooklyn-History. Billburg, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2013.
Rosario, Nelly. "COTTON CLOUDS Working-Class Life in Williamsburg, Brooklyn." New Labor Forum 14.2 (2005): 76-82. Print. Williamsburg's Brooklyn Navy Yard 1970-1980 Recession of 1973 Waterfront Factories Seek New Land 1976 - Schaefer Brewery Closes Approximately 2,500 jobs eliminated as a result
Over 200,000 local jobs disappeared in 1961-1988
Motivation for community to bond to improve the neighborhood
Various neighborhood-preserving organizations form, including the Italian St. Nicholas Neighborhood Preservation Corporation, the Hispanic Los Sures, and the Hasidic United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg
Beginning of modern-day Williamsburg Williamsburg vs. Greenwich Village F&M Schaefer brewery on Kent Avenue at South Ninth Street Factories of Williamsburg The American Sugar Refining Company along Kent Avenue The Hecla Architectural Iron Works Williamsburgh Flint Glass Company (later on Corning Glass) Similarly to Greenwich Village, Williamsburg is cultivating a hipster and artistic culture. many of them come from Greenwich Village and SoHo, because of Williamsburg's cheap prices and scenic view by the waterfront Southside buildings are slated for restoration Only a few abandoned buildings exist in Los Sures today as opposed to the 1970s and 1980s
Gentrification of Hispanic ethnicities as property value rises A. Kreamer Building, manufacturer of tin goods Southside Williamsburg purpose of rezoning is to accommodate residents in new buildings, parks, and waterfront development areas 1980-1990 1990 - 2000 2000-Present Hotspots Demographics 2000- Present Now with so many restaurants, galleries, bookstores, and performances, Williamsburg is recognized as a center for contemporary art in New York Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn Bowl Williamsburg's most well known landmark. A historical building as well as a hangout spot. A unique spot that is half bowling alley, and half concert venue 1955-1970 A Little History Brick Theater A major attraction for the hipsters of Northisde Williamsburg 1100- Self-sufficient Native American tribes lived, fished, hunted, and farmed along Brooklyn's waterfront.
Early 1600s- the Dutch came to change their lives forever––at first they merely traded furs, but they really wanted to own and use the land exclusively
The Native Americans and Dutch fought bloody wars over the the land and epidemics of measles and smallpox brought by the European colonists decimated villages, so the Native Americans were forced to sell more and more land.
1638- The Native American tribe that lived on what would become Williamsburg, Bushwick, and Greenpoint sold the land to the Dutch East India Company for a few trade goods: knives, blades, axes and beads.
1684- Native Americans no longer owned any of their native Brooklyn land to the Dutch and British.
1740s- Protestant ministers converted them to Christianity and they eventually adopted European ways and lost their own culture. Williamsburg Art & Historical Center Art Museum created by artist Yuki NiiKnown for its mission to create a bridge between north and south Williamsburg 1700s- For the entire century, Williamsburg was just a hodgepodge of Dutch, British, Irish, French, Norwegian, and Swedish immigrant settlements, with free and enslaved Africans, and farms.
1783- After the American Revolution, farmers planted orchards and vegetable gardens, and the area began to grow when these farmers had a direct way to transport their goods across the East River to Manhattan markets.
1802- Colonel Johnathan Williams, an army engineer––and Benjamin Franklin's grandnephew––was hired to lay out buildings and streets 13 acres from North 15th St to Division Ave. The owner of the land went bankrupt in 1811, and Williams never lived in the area he surveyed, but his name stuck.
1827- The official village of WilliamsburgH had more than 1,000 residents; it only began with 100.
1800s- Regular ferry service to WilliamsburgH attracted New Yorkers who lived in increasingly crowded Lower Manhattan. 1840- By this time Williamsburgh was incoporated as a town and became an urban neighborhood of 5,000 who lived closely together; there were more people per suare mile than the City of Brooklyn.
1850s- German and Irish immigrants arrived.
1851- Williamsburgh's population reached 35,000. It became an official city and for unknown reasons, lost its "h."
Williamsburg was one of the biggest cities in the country at a time when half of Manhattan, most of Brooklyn, and all of the Bronx, Staten Island, and Queens were still forests and farms.
The population grew quickly because people poured in for jobs. Williamburg's waterfront was linked the the Erie Canal, which attracted heavy industry––oil refinery (kerosene, gasoline, turpentine, and "other essential but foul-smelling products"), sugar, iron and glass works––which naturally attracted workers (The Brooklyn Historical Society).
The Brooklyn Historical Society called Williamsburg the "birthplace of industry": Astral Oil Works (Charles Pratt), which merged with Standard Oil Company (John D. Rockefeller) in 1874, Hecla Architectural Iron Works (Danish craftsmen), Pfizer chemical company (Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhart), Domino Sugar––produced by then Havemeyer and Elder, now Tate and Lyle, Jack Frost Sugar The factories and refineries these big industries attracted many workers, who were largely immigrants, and land speculators converted nice townhouses to rooming houses and built tenements to house the thousands of people drawn to factory jobs.
1900s- new waves of Polish, Italian, Jewish and Latino immigrants
1900- more than 100,000 people lived in Williamsburg, "many of them on bleak, dirty streets" (The Brooklyn Historical Society).
Sugar refinery workers typically earned a meager $9 a week (Brooklyn Eagle article), and the rent for a cold-water tenement apartment with an outdoor toilet in the backyard was $8 a week. Many immigrant families, such as the German and Irish, survived on stale bread, which cost a nickel for two loaves. Importance of Williamsburg's ethnic community organizations Williamsburg's ethnic groups formed community organizations during the hard times caused mainly by the housing shortage from the 1950s to 1970s:
Italian-Americans- St. Nicholas Neighborhood Preservation Corporation
Polish- and Slavic-Americans- People's Firehouse
Puerto Ricans and other Spanish-speakers- Los Sures, the Southside United Housing Development Fund Corporation
Hasidic residents- Unite Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg & the Opportunity Development Association. These groups created health care centers, home care services, youth, job-training programs, and food stamps programs, preserved a local firehouse, helped small business survive and even expand, and perhaps most importantly, burned-out, abandoned buildings into new housing. Importance of Williamsburg's ethnic community organizations (cont.) Los Sures transformed more than 100 abandoned buildings, which it owns and maintains for low-income tenants.
El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice, a New Vision Public High School is a school, but also offers the Latino community cultural, art, environmental, and public health programs.
*Former student Wilson Jermaine Heredia won a Tony Award for his role in the Broadway musical Rent.
The United Jewish Organizations, like Los Sures, developed many housing projects, and in the last decade, began computer literacy programs and job-training programs for homemakers––valuable for Hasidim women, who stay home to raise their families, because they learn how to operate different businesses from their homes, e.g. family day care, exercise classes, computer graphics. 1980s- SoHo studios became too expensive and Williamsburg lofts (converted old industrial spaces)were affordable, so artists came to work and live. 1987- Brooklyn Brewery was opened by Steve Hindy and Tom Potter. Originally all their beer was brewed by Matt Brewing Company, but then they started their own distribution company, marketed, and personally transported their beer to bars and retailers in NYC.
In 1996, Hindy and Potter obtained a former matzo factory and converted it into a functional brewery.
The brewery wanted to expand its brewing capacity in the city, but couldn't meet the demand at the Williamsburg brewery, lacked a bottling line, and there were cost benefits to contract brewing, so the beers were brewed by contract in Utica, New York 1980-1990 http://brooklynbrewery.com/verify 1990s- Waste management companies took over the waterfront abandoned by the sugar, oil refinery, and iron and glass work industries. "Local residents complain that the truck traffic, noise and stench of these operations are a burden and serious obstacle o developing new industry, homes, and parks" (The Brooklyn Historical Society).
1999- "With dozens of art galleries, bookstores, restaurants and performance events, Williamsburg reached a peak activity and citywide recognition as a lively center for contemporary art" (The Brooklyn Historical Society). Seasonal Ethnic Festivals in Williamsburg -In July, those of Italian descent "continue a 9th century religious tradition from Naples by 'Dancing the Giglio,' lifting a 3,000-pound tower in honor of St. Paulinus and carrying it through the streets of the Northside. The procession, attended by Italian-Americans from all over Brooklyn, has taken place nearly every year since 1903."
-In September, thousands of Hasidc Jews "dance out of their synagogues and into the streets of South Williamsburg to celebrate Simchat Torah, the competion of another year of Torah readings."
-In December, "sombrero-clad dancers and a mariachi band join local residents of Mexican descent to march up Broadway in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a fiesa dating from the 16th century." After years of conflict between the Hasidic and Latino communities, these groups have become partners in neighborhood campaigns, e.g. health care, housing, jobs, and the environent:
"The UJO and Los Sures have rehabilitated buildings where low-income Hasidic and Latino families live together"
"The Greater Williamsburg Collective––including St. Nicholas Greater Neighborhood Preservation, the UJO, Los Sures, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation––is working to create business and job opportunities for the comunity" (The Brooklyn Historical Society). Greenwich Village Williamsburg During World War II (1945) Brooklyn Navy Yard becomes Williamsburg's largest employer Greenwich Village Williamsburg Pfizer manufacturer of fine chemicals Pfizer moves into the pharmaceutical business Fermentation process c. 1936 Their expertise in the fermentation process made Pfizer the largest manufacturer of the antibiotic penicillin
later on. c. 1950 St. Mary's Queen of Angels c. 1922 on South Fourth and Roebling Street. This church served Williamsburg's large Polish community in the early 20th century. Today it is the headquaters for Los Sures, a local Hispanic organization. A Williamsburg Synagogue c. 1925 In the 1920s Jewish Williamsburg becomes an Orthodox community of the moderate Russian Polish typre. This 1929 photograph shows shops with Polish and Russian signs, as well as a ksher butcher.
The building is the former Williamsburg Hospital Williamsburg's most crowded, streets overflowed with children and pushcarts, rats common along waterfront-Kent st.
A YMCA on Marcy Ave could not support the thousands of unsupervised children---- progressives and socialists brought public baths, markets, and libraries to Wiliamsburg Peter Luger Steak House Named the best steakhouse in New York City by Zagat 28 year in a row.
Has one Michelin star
Established in 1887 in a predominantly German neighborhood Their steaks are served pre-sliced on an inclined plate so the fat runs down the plate, and the edges of the plates are heated to 400°F symbol, so diners can cook their steaks further.
Has its own steak sauce that's mix of a cocktail sauce and traditional steak sauce, but Luger recommends it on salad and not the fine steak; sells by mail order