Park Slope, one of Brooklyn’s largest neighborhoods, is a neighborhood in western section of the borough. Park Slope is roughly bounded by Prospect Park West to the east, Fourth Avenue to the west, Flatbush Avenue to the north, and Prospect Expressway to the south. Generally the section from Flatbush Avenue to Garfield Place (the "named streets") are considered the North Slope, 1st St. through 9th Street is considered the "Center Slope" and 10th St. through the Prospect Expressway is the "South Slope."
The area that comprises the neighborhood of Park Slope was first inhabited by the Native Americans of the Lenape people. The Dutch colonized the area by the 17th century and farmed the region for more than 200 years. The present neighborhood of Park Slope is built on land that was owned by railroad owner and land speculator Edwin C. Litchfield and sold block by block to developers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Many neighborhood blocks are lined with historic row houses, brownstones, Queen Anne Renaissance Revival, and Romanesque mansions.
526 acres of land was bought by the city to design Prospect Park (by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the same architects who designed Central Park), eventually giving the neighborhood its name. Though Park Slope was settled relatively recently the geography has a long history hosting significant battles during the Revolutionary War and being the original home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Through the 1950s many of the wealthy and middle class families fled for the suburbs. Park Slope became a more working class neighborhood and with mostly Italian and Irish in the 1950s and 1960s. During the 1960s and 1970s hippies and artists began to buy and renovate brownstones, often converting them from rooming houses into single and two-family homes. After the 1973 creation of the Landmark District, primarily above 7th Avenue, gentrification began to take off. This trend accelerated during the 1980s and 1990s as working-class families were generally replaced by upper-middle-class people being priced out of Manhattan or Brooklyn Heights. Today, new zoning changes on Fourth Avenue are allowing the addition of new condominiums and hotels.
For more than four decades, Park Slope has been a destination for young, upwardly mobile professionals and has ascended to a postcard definition of a true yuppie community. It is diverse and eccentric with a healthy mix of corporate fast-trackers, media professionals, writers, artists, musicians and filmmakers. Park Slope has the second largest alternative lifestyle population in the city. It is a progressive neighborhood that appeals to a wide variety of people from all backgrounds.
Park Slope has meticulously renovated brownstone and limestone townhouses (both single-family and with rental units) and full-service loft and apartment co-op and condominium buildings. Park Slope has quality public schools, scores of top-rated dining and nightlife along 5th and 7th Avenues and a diverse retail sector. There are neighborhood gathering spaces, a large and popular farmer’s market, several community gardens, low crime and huge creative capital. The neighborhood has become a punch line to jokes about baby strollers and gentrification but any way you slice it, Park Slope is the very definition of a well-rounded neighborhood. It has architectural and historical features; and a diverse mix of residents and businesses; all of which are supported and preserved by its active and involved citizenry.
Fans of Prospect Park love all the green space and enjoy numerous annual events such as the Celebrate Brooklyn! Performing Arts Festival. Prospect Park also has a 60-acre lake, an Audubon Center and the only forest in Brooklyn. This park receives more than 6 million visitors a year and serves as a community refuge and tourist destination.
The Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the central branch of the Brooklyn Public Library and the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) – are all within walking distance.
The neighborhood is well served by the subway. The F/G trains run along 9th Street, a main shopping street, stopping at Fourth Avenue, Seventh Avenue and 15th Street – Prospect Park/Prospect Park West.
The 2/3/4/5 trains have an express stop at the Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center and local stops at Bergen Street and Grand Army Plaza. The D/N/R trains stops at Prospect Avenue, Ninth Street, Union Street and Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center. The B/Q stops at Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center and Seventh Avenue.
Nearby: Boerum Hill, Gowanus, Prospect Heights, Windsor Terrace