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Sunset Park

For other uses, see Sunset Park (disambiguation).

Sunset Park is a neighborhood in the western section of the New York City borough of Brooklyn, USA. It is bounded by Greenwood Heights to the north, Borough Park to the east, Bay Ridge to the south, and Upper New York Bay to the west.[1] Sunset Park is served by the NYPD’s 72nd Precinct.[2]

There is a namesake city park within the neighborhood, located between 41st and 44th Streets and 5th and 7th Avenues, which is the second highest point in Brooklyn (the highest being on the northeastern edge of Green-Wood Cemetery). The “main drag” of the neighborhood is 5th Avenue. The area is also home to the Jackie Gleason Bus Depot.

History and overview

Early years

In the heyday of the New York Harbor’s dominance of North American shipping during the 19th Century, Sunset Park grew rapidly, largely as a result of Irish, Polish, Finnish and Norwegian immigrant families moving to the area. The neighborhood grew up around the Bush Terminal of Irving T. Bush, a model industrial park completed in 1895 between 39th and 53d Streets, and continued to grow through World War II, when the Brooklyn Army Terminal between 53d and 66th Streets employed more than 10,000 civilians to ship 80% of all American supplies and troops.[3]

Sunset Park’s fortunes began to decline after the war and factors included the rise of truck-based freight shipping and ports in New Jersey, growth of suburban sprawl and white flight, closing of the Army Terminal, and decreasing importance of heavy industry in the American northeast. Families who had lived in the community for decades began moving out, and their homes — largely modest but attractive rowhouses — lost value. The construction of the elevated Gowanus Expressway in 1941 effectively cut the neighborhood off from the harbor, which further wounded the area in a fashion often associated with the expressway’s builder, power-broker Robert Moses. Until the early 1980s, Sunset Park’s main population was made up of Norwegian Americans, who began leaving the neighborhood during the white flight years of the 1970s and 1980s.

Rebirth “Brooklyn’s Little Latin America”

Sunset Park’s second age began with a wave of immigration from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Mexico as well as other Latin American countries. By 1990, Hispanics comprised 50% of Sunset Park’s population, rehabilitating property values and developing a thriving community. There is an abundance of Hispanic restaurants and businesses along 5th Avenue.

People from Gujarat, India, have also been settling in and around Sunset Park since 1974. They are mostly Christian and go to three of the area’s churches, at 45th Street and 7th Avenue, 56th Street and 4th Avenue, and 52nd Street and 8th Avenue. These churches have a mainly Indian congregation and festive parties in the church halls.

Brooklyn Chinatown/Emerging Fuzhou Town

Since the 1980s, Brooklyn Chinatown, located along 8th Avenue from 42nd to 68th Street, has attracted many Chinese immigrants. Eighth Avenue is lined with Chinese businesses, including grocery stores, restaurants, Buddhist temples, video stores, bakeries, and community organizations, and even Hong Kong Supermarket.

Like the traditional Chinatown in Manhattan, Brooklyn’s Chinatown was originally settled by Cantonese immigrants. In recent years, however, to the discontent of many of the Cantonese, an influx of Fuzhou immigrants has been supplanting the Cantonese at a significantly faster rate than in Manhattan’s Chinatown. The Cantonese presence is definitively giving way to an emerging Fuzhou community, though many Cantonese still come from other parts of Brooklyn and elsewhere.

By 2009 many Mandarin-speaking people had moved to Sunset Park.[4]


The 2000 Census [2] for Sunset Park, Brooklyn approximates that there were 120,441 people living in the neighborhood; 50.5% were male and 49.5% female. The median age was 30.8; 17.8% of residents were children, 73.2% were adults (18 years and over), and 9% were senior citizens (65 or over).

There were 29,723 total housing units, of which 95.8% were occupied, and 75.1% were rented and 24.9% were owned; The median property value was $235,400. The median household income in 1999 US dollars was $30,152, and the median family income was $31,247; The per capita income was $13,141; 27.9% of individuals, and 26% of families were living below the poverty line. 93.9% of residents were of one race, while 6.1% were multiracial; Roughly 42.6% of residents were Hispanic or Latino, 36.2% were white (Caucasian or Arab), 29% were Asian (mostly Chinese), 3.2% were black/African American, and 24.7% were “some other race”.

Boerum Hill Cobble Hill Columbia Street Waterfront District Gowanus Park Slope Red Hook Sunset Park Windsor Terrace

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