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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

New York City Neighborhoods
Red Hook, Brooklyn

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Red Hook, just across the harbor from Governors Island and the tip of Manhattan, is thoroughly urban, but in the evenings it is quiet. The neighborhood is bounded by waterfront on three sides and the Gowanus Canal on the fourth side. The neighborhood is divided into two different sections by Richards Street. To the east is "the Front," where Brooklyn's largest public housing project is home to 8,500 people. To the west of Richards is "the Back" or "the Point," where you can find turn-of-the-century row and frame houses. The main commercial streets are Lorraine, Columbia and Van Brunt.

Red Hook is on the northwest Brooklyn waterfront, west of the Gowanus expressway. It is located in Brooklyn Community District 6.


With a long history as a shipping port and industrial district, the Dutch gave Red Hook its name in the 17th century because of its peninsular shape and red soil. By the time of the Civil War, Red Hook was already a busy commercial district.


New businesses have recently opened near Lorraine and Columbia Streets and on Van Brunt Street. An artists' community has established itself on lower Van Brunt.

To Manhattan from "the Back" is 45 minutes via the B61 bus to the A, C or F trains at Jay Street-Borough Hall; from "the Front," the commute is 35 minutes via the B77 bus to the Smith and 9th Street F train.
The local elementary schools are P.S. 15 and PS 27. The only middle school in Red Hook is the small School for Leadership in the Environment, housed in PS 27. Middle School 142 is just outside Red Hook on Henry Street.
Housing Stock:

For a glimpse of what Red Hook looked like a century ago, stroll Coffey Street between Conover and Ferris and Pioneer between Van Brunt and Richards.

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 Home finder, 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.
Special Note:
The neighborhood boasts three public piers: Beard Street, which houses an annual art exhibition; the Red Hook Garden pier, site of the Waterfront Museum; and Louis Valentine pier, with a ramp for canoes and kayaks.

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