-One of original six towns of Brooklyn during Dutch rule. Established as “Boswijck” (heavy woods) in 1660 between Bushwick Creek and Newtown Creek, remained a farming community well into 19th century
-Large influx of Germans after 1940
-Between 1850 and 1880, at least eleven breweries were operating within a fourteen block area known as “brewer’s row.”
-Peter Cooper’s first factory (a glue factory) was located in Bushwick in the 1840’s.
-Became part of city of Brooklyn in 1854.
-In 1869, Adrian Martenses Suydam developed the family farm for housing, and the land was developed into 125 residences by 1884. Development in the area further increased after the opening of an elevated train line to Manhattan in 1888.
Changing ethnic composition of the area:
German population in the area began to decline after the Great Depression
1930’s and 1940’s: area became home to one of the largest concentrations of Italians in Brooklyn
After WWII, much of the Italian population moved to Queens and the suburbs, were replaced by African-Americans and Puerto Ricans
In the 1980s: about a third of the new immigrants who settled in Bushwick were from the Dominican Republic, smaller numbers from Guyana, Ecuador, Jamaica, India and China
Population in the 1990s was primarily Latin American and African-American with some Italians and Asians
Neighborhood entered a period of economic decline marked by reduced city servies and the closing of factories
Of the seven local breweries remaining after WWII, the last two, Rheingold and F.M. Schaefer closed in 1976
Arson and looting during the blackout of 1977 further damaged the neighborhood
1980s; some sections were revitalized by new housing and the renovation of existing housing
Sources Cited in Text:
Bushwick South and Bushwick Avenue (New York: New York City Landmarks Commission, n.d.) [Report on Proposed Historic District]
Tony Sanchez: Bushwick Neighborhood Profile (New York: Brooklyn in Touch Information Center, 1988)