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Making a Splash in Red Hook: How the Vast Red Hook Pool and Play Center Came to Be

By Suzanne Spellen (aka Montrose Morris) We have the Great Depression and Robert Moses to thank for one of New York City’s biggest public swimming pools, the Sol Goldman Pool in the Red Hook Play Center at 155 Bay Street in Red Hook. Designed to accommodate more than 4,462 people at a time, the …

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Red Hook’s Early Years, Coffeyville, and Life on a Coffey Street Row

By Suzanne Spellen (aka Montrose Morris) Red Hook is one of Brooklyn’s oldest neighborhoods, with a history that is unique. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that Coffey Street, located between the Atlantic and Erie Basins should have a unique history as well. Here is the story of Red Hook’s …

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Red Hook in the Snow (Video)

Rich with industrial charm, waterfront views and quirky character, Red Hook was transformed for a few days by a whirling, blustering storm that blanketed the neighborhood with snow. The first substantial accumulation of the winter provided a perfect opportunity to hike through the slushy streets and capture the atmospheric scenes. Shop owners shovel their …

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A Witness to the Evolution of Red Hook: 44-46 Beard Street

Sailors, food and art: All play a part in the story of 44-46 Beard Street, a utilitarian Italianate-style building overlooking the waterfront and Ikea. It was built as a storefront with residential space above sometime between 1880 and 1886. A lone survivor, and a witness to over 130 years of shipping and industrial history, …

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76 Van Dyke Street, one of Red Hook’s most important buildings

Officially, 76 Van Dyke Street is the Brooklyn Clay Retort and Fire Brick Works Storehouse. That’s quite a mouthful for this sprawling one-story building, beautifully constructed in rough-cut stone. Located near a slip on the Erie Basin, the storehouse is a lone survivor of the fire clay brick industry, once one of the most important …

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Fairway Market: Red Hook’s Favorite Destination

Fairway Market

Photo by Jennifer K. via Yelp When Manhattan’s favorite market Fairway announced that it would be opening a branch in Red Hook in 2006, food lovers from all over Brooklyn waited in anxious anticipation. The market would be housed in the Red Hook Stores, the largest of the brick storage warehouses built by Red Hook’s …

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The changing faces of Red Hook, as seen in maps from 1770 to the present

The face of Brooklyn changes almost every day. Come back a few months later, and everything has changed. Even as new buildings appear and disappear, or even the streets themselves, the land underneath tends to stay the same. This has not, however, always been true for Brooklyn’s shoreline. Here, the land itself can change. Nowhere …

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Here’s how Red Hook’s Fort Defiance changed the Revolutionary War

Long before Red Hook got its name, when the Lenape people would fish near the entrance to what is now the East River, it was a marshy swamp. This area of what would some day become South Brooklyn looked more like the Mississippi Delta than the defined waterfront we see today. Old maps show all sorts of tidal …

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How did Red Hook and the Buttermilk Channel get their names?

Our neighborhoods all have interesting place names. The streets, thoroughfares and neighborhoods themselves are named for people, landmarks, or natural features that were a part of its history. So it stands to reason that Red Hook, with its storied past, would have some interesting street names. Red Hook The name “Red Hook” goes back …

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The History of King Cotton and the Red Hook Stores

A trip to the Red Hook Fairway may be your excuse to visit the iconic warehouses of Red Hook, but once you are here, stop for a moment and look around. You are looking at American and international history. It’s a story of how these Red Hook warehouses—or “stores,” as they used to be called—were the conduit …

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