Ask Carroll Gardens residents to describe their neighborhood, and words like peaceful, beautiful and close-knit would likely top the list. Much of this friendly “sidewalk culture” is due to the unique front gardens that adorn the area. In 1846, surveyor Richard Butts laid out the district with unusually deep lots and front yards stretching up to 39 feet deep. The development of handsome two- and three-story brownstones — spurred by industrial activity along the Gowanus Canal and by the new park-like Green-Wood Cemetery — have created a soothing architectural unity in a peaceful haven unlike any other in the city. Spanning about 50 city blocks, Carroll Gardens is bordered roughly by Degraw and Baltic streets to the north, Hamilton Avenue to the south, Hicks to the west and Hoyt and Smith streets to the east.
Once a part of the larger Red Hook neighborhood, Carroll Gardens was named by a local civic group in 1964. The name derives from the signature gardens and honors Charles Carroll, the Maryland signer of the Declaration of Independence, in recognition of that state’s defense of nearby Old Stone House during the Revolutionary War.
At the center of the neighborhood, delightful Carroll Park is a cherished gathering spot featuring tree-lined plazas, playgrounds and courts, and neighbors flock to the Sunday greenmarket held here year-round. Nearby, a small section of Carroll Gardens is protected by a designated historic district. In 2009, a rezoning effort successfully restricted new developments to heights of 50 feet, preserving the neighborhood character for generations to come.
Some of Brooklyn’s buzziest restaurants are located in Carroll Gardens. On Court and Smith streets, wonderful boutiques, restaurants and bars add a vibrant feel to the neighborhood. Just across the southern border, Red Hook Park offers acres of outstanding recreation. The Carroll Street Station delivers F and G subway service to this delightful Brooklyn community that feels worlds apart.
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