A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 20, 2011
Greenwood Heights

The Brooklyn neighborhood of Greenwood Heights takes its name from its proximity to the Green-Wood Cemetery (a National Historic Landmark). There was a Greenwood Heights Reformed Church in the 1800s, located on 45th Street and 7th Avenue. The “Greenwood Heights” name was seldom used for the neighborhood, however, until classified real estate ads in the New York (NY) Times began using “Greenwood Heights” in 1985-86. The ‘Greenwood Heights” name was applied to parts of Park Slope and Sunset Park.

The name of “Greenwood Heights” is still controversial. State Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries announced in April 2011 that he would introduce a bill to prevent real estate brokers from using made-up monikers like “Greenwood Heights” without approval of local community boards, the City Council and the mayor.


Wikipedia: Greenwood Heights, Brooklyn
Greenwood Heights is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn that takes part of its name from the neighborhood proximity to the Green-Wood Cemetery. The much-debated borders are, roughly, the Prospect Expressway to the north, Third Avenue to the west, Eighth Avenue to the east and 36th Street to the south (southern boundary of The Green-Wood Cemetery).

A mixed neighborhood of working class Polish American and Italian American families, South American and Mexican immigrants, and middle class Brooklynites who have relocated from other higher-priced neighborhoods, Greenwood Heights’ architectural mix of wood frame and brick homes gives the area an eclectic look and feel, different from its neighbors Park Slope to the north and Sunset Park to the south.

Recent new real estate development, curbed with the rezoning of the area in November 2005, has brought an influx of luxury condominium apartments into a residential area that was mainly made up of 1- and 2-family homes. Post-rezoning, while new development sites have occurred, there has been a new trend of home renovations (many of them “gut renovations"), taking many of the neglected circa 1900 wood frame homes and restoring them to their turn of the century historical look.

Wikipedia: Green-Wood Cemetery
Green-Wood Cemetery was founded in 1838 as a rural cemetery in Kings County, New York, now in Brooklyn. It was granted National Historic Landmark status in 2006 by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Forgotten NY: Green-Wood Heights
I confess. “Green-Wood Heights” is a name concocted by real-estaters stumped about what to call the area on the NW side of Green-Wood Cemetery between Park Slope and Sunset Park. Some even say that the terms refer only to Prospect Avenue south to 20th Street and from 3rd Avenue southeast to about McDonald Avenue.

Google Books
Appletons’ Dictionary of New York and its vicinity
New York, NY: D. Appleton and Company
1902 (1879-1902, the 24th edition)
Pg. 245:
Reformed Dutch Church, or Reformed Church in America.—The headquarters of this denomination are at 25 E. 22d st. The following list gives the names and locations of its churches in New York city:
(...)
BOROUGH OF BROOKLYN
Pg. 246:
GREENWOOD HEIGHTS, 41st st. near 8th av.

29 March 1987, New York (NY) Times, “Town Houses: Capitalizing On a Name,” pg. R1:
Manuel Scharf, a Brooklyn developer, knows that home buyers like Park Slope. But he concedes that his new town-house development, called the Villas at Park Slope, is actually situated in a fringe area that some call Park Slope South and others call Greenwood Heights.

Google Books
Brooklyn by Name:
How the neighborhoods, streets, parks, bridges, and more got their names

By Leonard Benardo and Jennifer Weiss
New York, NY: New York University Press
2006
Pg. 58:
Of relatively recent vintage, the southern reaches of Park Slope have acquired the moniker “Greenwood Heights” to illustrate the area’s proximity to Green-Wood Cemetery.

Best View in Brooklyn
Monday, August 25, 2008
Then and Now: Greenwood Heights Reformed Church
This church was once called the Greenwood Heights Reformed Church, located on 45th Street and 7th Avenue. It’s facade was really beautiful.

The white trim of the curving shape and the windows is still there. The GHRC was built in the 1800’s and disbanded in 1972. Now it is the United Methodist Christ Church, and it houses a Head Start.

Google Books
The Golden Road:
Notes on My Gentrification

By Caille Millner
New York, NY: Penguin USA
2008
Pg. ?:
But I chose to live in a neighborhood that the upwardly mobile called southern Park Slope and the entrenched residents continued to call Sunset Park. (Since 2004, real estate agents have been calling it Greenwood Heights.)

NY1.com
04/19/2011 09:10 PM
Assemblyman Wants To Prevent Realtors From Renaming City Neighborhoods
By: NY1 News
Brooklyn Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries is trying to prevent realtors from making up new names for neighborhoods.

Jeffries says there have been several recent efforts to change names, including calling a part of Sunset Park “Greenwood Heights,” and a part of Crown Heights “ProCro.”

Another example is a billboard advertising a luxury building on West 42nd Street between Ninth and 10th Avenues. The ad says it is in “MiMa,” which stands for “Middle of Manhattan.”

Jeffries says his bill, called the “Neighborhood Integrity Act,” would force realtors to get city approval for name changes.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNeighborhoods • (2) Comments • Wednesday, April 20, 2011 • Permalink


Thanks for the informative post. I was supposed to have been interviewed by NY1, but was out of town.

The post does list some sources I was not aware of, most noticeably (to me):

Appletons’ Dictionary of New York and its vicinity
New York, NY: D. Appleton and Company
1902 (1879-1902, the 24th edition)

Posted by Aaron  on  04/25  at  05:51 PM

I should add I’m one of the editors on the wikiperdia entry. I’ll have to add some of your sources!

Posted by Aaron  on  04/25  at  05:54 PM

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