Although the origin of the name “Gravesend” remains disputed, it likely derives either from the English seaport of Gravesend, Kent or from the Dutch name s’Gravenzande, which roughly translates to “The Count’s Beach” or “The Count’s Sand.” What is known, however, is that the neighborhood was founded by a woman, Lady Deborah Moody, in 1643, who is believed to be interred in the Old Gravesend Cemetery.
The neighborhood, which rests north of Brighton Beach and Cony Island, is wedged between Bensonhurt to the west and Sheepshead Bay to the east. The neighborhood is served by the D, F and N subway lines, and like other southern Brooklyn areas, is at least an hour away from Midtown Manhattan by public transportation. Although Gravesend’s original settlers were Dutch and English, the neighborhood has experienced a recent real estate boom with the influx of Sephardic Jewish residents, mostly hailing from Syria, Lebanon and Egypt, who are willing to pay top dollar to remain close to their relatives. Many of these new residents are purchasing and settling in large houses characterized by pristine landscaping and elaborate porches. To the west and outside of the predominantly Sephardic section lies the area north of the main commercial district on Avenue U, which boasts rows of one- and two-family brick houses with covered porches. One can also find six- and seven-story brick co-op and condominium buildings, most of which are nearer to the southern avenues and Ocean Parkway.
Although isolated in some ways, Gravesend is only a short train or bus ride away from fun-filled Coney Island. The neighborhood also has several small parks, like McDonald Park on McDonald Avenue and near Avenue T, that feature handball courts and paved baseball diamonds. Avenue U also features a variety of specialty Italian shops.
|Building Address||# no-fee apts|
|354 MC DONALD AVENUE||6|
|2375 East 3 Street||4|
|61 Village Road North||3|
|8301 Bay Parkway||2|
|2345 Ocean Avenue||2|
|71 Village Road North||1|