Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, New York City
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Carroll Gardens is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, USA. The area is named for Charles Carroll, a revolutionary war veteran who was also the only Roman Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence. The Carroll Gardens park, a block-long area of playgrounds, walkways and sitting areas between Court and Smith Streets, with Carroll Street as its southern boundary, was constructed in the late 19th century and is named for Charles Carroll. The neighborhood is part of Brooklyn Community Board 6.
A long-standing Italian neighborhood of family-run stores, Carroll Gardens is now sprinkled with cafes, boutiques and antique shops. Many of the people drawn in by this infusion consider the neighborhood part of a new "meta-neighborhood" called BoCoCa, a name comprising the first two letters of each of the three neighborhoods in it, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, and Carroll Gardens. It shares its northern boundary with Cobble Hill at Degraw Street and Boerum Hill at Warren Street, while extending south to Hamilton Avenue and Red Hook. Prior to the gentrification movement in the mid-1960s, Carroll Gardens was considered by residents to be part of Red Hook. In the late 1940s, however, the southern tip of Red Hook was cut off from the rest of the neighborhood by the building of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and Gowanus Expressway, and the area now known as Carroll Gardens took on a separate and distinct character of its own. Today, Carroll Gardens is a middle-class, upscale community, while Red Hook, which had retained its working-class, waterfront ambience, has only recently begun to feel the effects of gentrification.
Before Italians settled the area, Carroll Gardens was settled by Irish Americans in the early 19th century and, in the mid-19th century, by Norwegian-Americans, who founded the Norwegian Seamans' Church, an imposing brownstone structure that was once visited by the King of Norway during an official visit to the United States, and which still stands (although it is now a condominium) on the corner of First Place and Clinton Street. In 1846, Richard Butts created the front "gardens" to the famous brownstone houses in the oldest section of the neighborhood. The brownstones are set back from the street by 30-40 feet, to create atypical (for Brooklyn) large front gardens. The Carroll Gardens Historic District, which includes some of the finest examples of these brownstones with large front gardens, is bounded roughly by Carroll Street to the south, President Street to the north, Hoyt Street to the east and Smith Street to the west.
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