Map and Photos of Borough Park Borough Park (also spelled Boro Park) is home to one of the largest Hasidic and Orthodox Jewish communities outside of Israel. Russian Jews from the Lower East Side of Manhattan settled here as early as 1910 (and later, in the 1920's, some moved down from Williamsburg -- and even more from Crown Heights when they were displaced by the construction of the BQE in 1957), and a major influx of Orthodox and Hasidic Jews continued in the mid-1970's. Today, an estimated 80% of the people who live in Boro Park are Jewish, according to the Community Board and local residents. The remainder includes persons of Italian, Irish, Mexican, Chinese, Pakistani, Russian, and Polish, and Asian ancestry.
The neighborhood is about 200 blocks in size; the boundaries are roughly Fort Hamilton Parkway / McDonald Avenue (West/East) and Green-Wood Cemetery / 60th Street (North/South). There are an estimated 161,000 residents in the neighborhood (year 2000 Census Data).
The neighborhood, part of one of the original six towns of Brooklyn (New Utrecht), was developed starting around 1887 when railroad tycoon and land owner Electus B. Litchfield (1813-1889) built a series of cottages as a small development he called "Blythebourne"
(the Blythebourne Station Post Office at 51st Street and 12th Avenue is named after the original development). In 1902 another developer,
State Senator William H. Reynolds, bought the land north of Blythebourne and east of New Utrecht Avenue and named the subdivision "Borough Park". Blythebourne was eventually absorbed by Borough Park in the mid-1920's. In addition to the post office noted above, the Blythebourne School, PS 105 on 59th Street, also takes its name from the original development.
The Mapleton neighborhood is in the southern tip of Boro Park. The Maimonides Medical Center Emergency Room (just outside the western edge of Boro Park at Ft Hamilton Pkwy and 49th Street) is the 5th-busiest ER in the United States, and due to the polyglot nature of the surrounding neighborhoods, the medical center's 46 patient representatives speak a total of 70 languages.
Perhaps the greatest car-chase ever filmed, in The French Connection, takes place partly in Boro Park, under the elevated train line that runs over New Utrecht Avenue. That train line, now the "D" line, helped spark the growth of development in the neighborhood after World War I.
Our primary source for neighborhood names and locations is the
New York City Department of City Planning. Additional information is from Kenneth Jackson and John B.
Manbeck's book The Neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Brooklyn by Name by Leonard Benardo and Jennifer Weiss. Neighborhood boundaries, where shown, are approximate, and are often a matter of great local debate and dissent. You can send us YOUR opinion by using the feedback link below...
Some neighborhood descriptions are adapted from content appearing on Wikipedia.org.
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