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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

New York City Neighborhoods
Boerum Hill, Brooklyn

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The streets of Boerum Hill are lined with shady trees and three- and four-story brick town houses, which provide an urban oasis from the bustling metropolis only a few subway stops away.

Boerum Hill's northern boundary is Schermerhorn Street, which separates the neighborhood from the Downtown Brooklyn commercial district. Its eastern border is 4th Avenue. Local residents disagree, however, on the area's southern and western boundaries. The Boerum Hill Association considers the southern boundary to be a combination of Wyckoff and Warren Streets, but many local residents think the neighborhood spreads as far south as Degraw Street. Also, many who live between Smith and Court Streets consider themselves part of the Cobble Hill neighborhood, but realtors maintain that this area is part of Boerum Hill.


The Boerum Hill neighborhood was built mainly between 1860 and 1880, serving as a home for middle-class merchants. Working-class Irish and Italians dominated the area for decades, until they began to move to the suburbs after World War II. Puerto Rican immigrants moved into the empty houses that they left behind. Before the 1960s, Boerum Hill was part of a larger area known as South Brooklyn, or referred to as North Gowanus, but it became known as Boerum Hill when financially well-off people moved in and began to renovate homes in the neighborhood.


Boerum Hill is a family-oriented neighborhood that serves as a bedroom community for many Manhattan office workers. However, it has thriving commercials district of its own: Smith Street has experienced a renaissance in the past few years, and is now home to many restaurants, boutiques, and shops; and Atlantic Avenue is known for its antique stores and Arab-American restaurants.

Boerum Hill is served by a number of subway lines: the Bergen Street stop on the F train, the Pacific or Union Street stops on the M/N/R, or Hoyt-Schermerhorn on the G train. Northwest Boerum Hill residents may use the Borough Hall (1, 2, 4 and 5) or Jay Street-Borough Hall (A, C and F) stations.
Boerum Hill is home to two public elementary schools: P.S. 38, the Pacific School; and PS 261, the Philip Livingston School, which is a magnet school for the arts. Neighborhood children also attend private schools, including St. Ann's, the Packer Collegiate Institute, the Brooklyn Friends School, and the Brooklyn Heights Montessori School.
Housing Stock:

Almost all of the private houses in Boerum Hill are town houses and are three or four stories tall. Generally, prices rise as one travels north and west within the neighborhood-away from the Gowanus Canal.

Where do I find my new home?

In addition to the big dailies, check out The Home Reporter and The Spectator, local Brooklyn papers, and The Homefinder, which is distributed in local supermarkets and bank branches. Another potential source of information are the privately-run real estate websites, such as Real Estate Español, Realty Times, or HomeStore.

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