Photo of the Week: Sunset Park Pays it Forward

While Hurricane Sandy’s gale forces downed trees and wreaked havoc on power and internet lines, the neighborhood did not see the extensive water damage that Red Hook, DUMBO, and the Rockaways did.

@udosero Photos were taken in the areas between 4th & 10th Ave and between 54th and 68th St. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=437824276279897

@udosero Photos were taken in the areas between 4th & 10th Ave and between 54th and 68th St. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=437824276279897

Sunset Park locals and even one Upper West Sider, ventured to Sunset Park to offer assistance.  St. Jacobi Church became a supply hub for Hurricane Sandy Victims.  Cars with at least a little gas lined up along 4th Avenue between 54th and 55th Streets and awaited a full trunk of supplies before driving out to The Rockaways, Coney Island, or Staten Island with food, clothing, and/or cleaning supplies for those in need.

@ginjula St. Jacobi Church in #SunsetPark where #occupysandy is a hub for volunteers. #BrooklynPhotos Organized & need help.pic.twitter.com/1sN3NEAs

@JoyceLeeAnn @brooklynhistory here is a photo from st. jacobi church. #sandypic.twitter.com/5959PR2G

Although we don’t have old photographs of St. Jacobi Church or its block, we do have many photographs of Sunset Park showing the remarkable change that’s occurred in the last century.  St. Jacobi Church is a multi-cultural Evangelical Lutheran church welcoming the many ethnic groups that have transformed the neighborhood.  The murky photographs below are from the end of the 19th centuryjust before the major residential development that would transform Sunset Park from farmland into the gridded blocks of row houses and brownstones that still exist in parts today.  Sunset Park, once the home of a thrivingScandinavian community, is today boasts some of the most diverse demographics in the borough.  Brooklyn’s Chinatown is located here, on 8th Avenue between 42nd and 68th streets, and continues to grow.

Old South Reformed Church, 3rd Avenue at 52nd Street, ca. 1875, V1972.1.397; Early Brooklyn and Long Island photograph collection, ARC.201; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Cortelyou House, Corner of 38th Street and 3rd Avenue, ca. 1880, V1972.1.843; Early Brooklyn and Long Island photograph collection, ARC.201; Brooklyn Historical Society.

986 3rd Avenue at 39th Street, John O’Rourke Carpenter Shop, 1886, V1972.1.844; Early Brooklyn and Long Island photograph collection, ARC.201; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Fourth Avenue looking east at 49th Street, 1941, V1976.1.23; Edward B. Watson photographs and prints collection, ARC.213; Brooklyn Historical Society.

View of north side of 59th Street. 1962, V1974.9.286; John D. Morrell photographs, ARC.005; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Thank you Sunset Park for helping those in need in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy by offering your neighborhood as a hub for Occupy Sandy.

Everyone at Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) is keenly aware of the wide impact that Sandy has had on Brooklyn and surrounding areas and we hope that services are reaching you and life is getting back to normal.

BHS is working on collecting information about Sandy and the effects of the storm on our borough to add to BHS’ collections. Over the next several weeks, PHOTO OF THE WEEK will document Sandy and its impact on Brooklyn. We encourage you to check out our Storify website, documenting our progress so far. Click here: Hurricane Sandy: Brooklyn Stories.

Interested in seeing more photographs from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery which includes a selection of our images.  To search our entire collection of images, visit BHS Othmer Library Wed-Fri 1:00-5:00 p.m.

About Julie May

I am the Head of Collection Management at Brooklyn Historical Society.
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