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Stapleton was intended to house a United States Naval Base in the late 1980s, after having served as the New York Port of Embarkation for the United States Army during World War II.Read more about Stapleton
Due to the fall of the Iron Curtain, however, the half built naval base wasn’t needed anymore and thus never fully realized. Stapleton endured a brief stagnation until the early twenty first century, when the city decided to majorly revitalize the area.
Stapleton is currently undergoing huge improvements and development; the city undertook the Stapleton Waterfront Project only this past summer, and is putting $32 million dollars into infrastructure, improving the aesthetic of the area, and a grand esplanade that will extend into the water.
But though the area around the water is changing, Stapleton has a fondness for historical preservation. In the 1970s, locals founded the Mud Lane Society to actively preserve and renovate the grand Victorian homes lining Mud Lane, which have been there since the mid 1800s.
The grandeur is the result of Stapleton’s function as a getaway for wealthy Manhattanites who have since moved their summer homes to the Hamptons. The society celebrates the history of these homes with architectural house tours describing all the different aspects of the homes and providing a lens to the wealthy that once summered there. The Society also puts on music during the summers in Tappan Park, the heart of the business district in Stapleton, which still has a former village hall built during the Victorian era in its quaint square. Both Tappen Park and Edgewater Village hall were recognized for their historical integrity in 1980, when they were put on the National Register of Historic Places.
Stapleton’s main industry was beer production, and until 1963, large breweries, mainly brewing German beer, were all over the town.
Though the area is mostly inhabited by families, the waterfront project and the creation of Staten Island’s first incubator, Makerspace, will likely transition the area into the trendy spot in Staten Island for young professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs. For a fun night out in Stapleton, stop by the Full Cup on Van Duzer Street or the Paramount Theater, which host both local and well-known musical artists.