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Kensington is a neighborhood in the central portion of the New York City borough of Brooklyn, located south of Prospect Park and the Green-Wood Cemetery. It is bordered by Coney Island Avenue to the east, Fort Hamilton Parkway and Caton Avenue to the north, McDonald Avenue and 36th Street to the west, and 18th Avenue to the south. The neighborhoods that border Kensington and Parkville are Ditmas Park and Prospect Park South to the east (both of which are parts of Flatbush), Windsor Terrace to the north, Borough Park to the west, and Midwood to the south.

Kensington is a predominantly residential area that consists of housing types that run the gamut from brick rowhouses to detached one-family Victorians to apartment buildings. Pre-war brick apartment buildings dominate the Ocean Parkway and Coney Island Avenue frontage, including many that operate as co-ops. The neighborhood has a diverse population with residents of many ethnicities. The main commercial streets are Coney Island Avenue, Church Avenue, Ditmas Avenue, and McDonald Avenue. Ocean Parkway bisects the neighborhood east–west. Kensington's ZIP Code is 11218 and it is served by the NYPD's 66th Precinct.


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Kensington Post Office, listed on the NRHP

The land where Kensington now sits was first colonized by Dutch farmers during the seventeenth century within the Town of Flatbush. It was re-settled by British colonists in 1737. Developed in 1885 after the completion of Ocean Parkway, the neighborhood was named after the place and borough in West London, at the turn of the century.

Ocean Parkway, which starts in Kensington, was finished in 1880; it features about five miles (8 km) of landscaped malls, benches, chess tables and walking and bike paths, linking Prospect Park to Coney Island, and is now part of the Brooklyn-Queens Greenway. Homebuilding began in earnest in the 1920s and attracted Italian and Irish immigrants to the neighborhood. Brick and brownstone townhouses coexist with single- and two-family homes with yards and garages. Five- and six-story pre- and post-war apartment buildings and co-ops are also common.


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The Culver Ramp takes the IND Culver Line from a tunnel to an elevated structure.

The New York City Subway's IND Culver Line (F <F>, and ​G trains) runs along the western part of the neighborhood and stops underground at Fort Hamilton Parkway and at Church Avenue. The line rises above ground to an elevated structure (F <F>​ trains) to serve the Ditmas Avenue and 18th Avenue stations. In addition, Kensington is served by the B8, B16, B35, B67, B68, B69, B70, B103 local buses, as well as the BM1, BM2, BM3, BM4 express buses to Manhattan.


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18th Avenue library

Founded as a deposit station in 1908 by the Mothers' Kindergarten Club of P.S. 134 (18th Avenue and East 5th Street) and the Kensington Improvement League, Kensington's branch library quickly outgrew two locations before becoming a full-fledged branch at 770 McDonald Avenue (near Ditmas Avenue) in 1912. When it again needed more space in 1960, it moved to 410 Ditmas Ave., between East 4th & East 5th Streets, a former catering hall known as Ditmas Gardens, Savoy Garden, and The Manor, that was leased and renovated, arousing national media interest. The branch moved again in 2012, opening on November 15 at its new facilities at 4207 18th Avenue.


Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of Kensington-Ocean Parkway was 36,891, a decrease of 46 (0.1%) from the 36,937 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 364.84 acres (147.65 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 101.1 inhabitants per acre (64,700/sq mi; 25,000/km2).

The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 47.9% (17,686) White, 6.9% (2,558) African American, 0.1% (49) Native American, 24.1% (8,879) Asian, 0.0% (9) Pacific Islander, 0.7% (274) from other races, and 2.5% (926) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.6% (6,510) of the population.

Kensington is a very diverse neighborhood, containing South Asian (Bangladeshi Pakistani and Indian), Orthodox Jewish (Hasidic), Latin American, Central Asian (Uzbek and Tajik mostly), Polish, Italian, and Russian communities.

The 2020 census data from New York City Department of City Planning showed each the White and Asian population ranges are roughly equal with each of their population being at between 10,000 and 19,999 residents and there were 5,000 to 9,999 Hispanic residents, however the Black residents were less than 5000.



New BPL 4207 18th Av Kensington jeh
18th Avenue library

The Kensington branch of the Brooklyn Public Library is located at 4207 18th Avenue, near the intersection of Seton Place and East Second Street. It was originally created in 1908 as a "deposit station" with a small collection, and was located at P.S. 134, three blocks east of the current library. Within four years, it had moved twice, and in 1912, it relocated to 770 McDonald Avenue, at the southwest corner of Ditmas Avenue. The library moved again in 1960 to a location four blocks east, on 410 Ditmas Avenue, between East 4th & East 5th Streets. The current facility opened in 2012.


Public schools in Kensington include four public primary schools: P.S. 130 (shared with Windsor Terrace), P.S. 230, P.S. 179, and P.S. 134. There are three middle schools: M.S. 839, J.H.S. 62 and J.H.S. 23. The area has no public high schools. There is also an Orthodox Jewish school called Yeshiva Torah Vodaas.

Notable people

  • Yisroel Belsky (1938-2016) Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas a senior kashrut advisor at the Orthodox Union And a leading Jewish halachic decisor.
  • Bryce Dessner (born 1976), composer and guitarist.
  • Jo Freeman (born 1945), feminist scholar.
  • Sid Luckman (1916–1998), Hall of Fame quarterback for the Chicago Bears from 1939 to 1950; led them to four NFL championships. According to the 1940 Federal Census, Luckman lived at 318 East 8th Street in Kensington.
  • Bruce Morrow (born 1935), radio disc jockey known as "Cousin Brucie."
  • Gedalia Schorr (1910-1979) Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas and a leading Jewish scholar.
  • Albert Shanker (1928–1997), president of the United Federation of Teachers from 1964 to 1985 and president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) from 1974 to 1997.
  • Sufjan Stevens (born 1975), singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.
  • Frank Terpil (1939–2016), rogue CIA agent, arms trader, international felon.
  • Nisson Wolpin (1932-2008), editor of The Jewish Observer

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Kensington (Brooklyn) para niños

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