Brooklyn Public Library


Red Hooked

Jun 20, 2008 2:25 PM | 0 comments

With the big Ikea opening, it seems that people just can’t get enough of Red Hook. Everyone is talking about the once little-known neighborhood, from Brooklynites to Brooklyn newbies. Amid the buzz, one might wonder what Red Hook was once like.


Settled by the Dutch in 1636, it was named for its red clay soil and its shape. This waterfront neighborhood was a heavily industrial area for years, home to a grain terminal, a sugar refinery and shipyards. Blue collar workers were typical neighborhood dwellers long before today’s artists and hipsters started to arrive. Many of these waterfront sites are no longer active; others have been demolished, such as the Todd Shipyard, now home to Ikea.


Take a look at “old world” Red Hook at Central Library. Photos taken by Nathan Kensinger—whose work is commonly published in Gothamist, Curbed and Brownstonerwill be on display through August 30. In some photos, Kensinger provides an uncommon view into many of the old shipyards and factories that once made Red Hook. With several of these buildings restricted to the public, the exhibition is truly a glance into a secret world. So, get to know Red Hook, both versions of it.
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