Flatbush, Long Island
Flatbush is a neighborhood that is centrally located in the borough of Brooklyn in Kings County, Long Island, New York. The community name derives from the Dutch for "level forest" and bounded by Parkside Avenue, Nostrand Avenue, Avenue H and Coney Island Avenue. It includes the southernmost portion of Prospect Park.
The Flatbush Post Office is assigned postal zone (ZIP Code) 11226, but the area understood as included in Flatbush is rather larger than the postal zone. Flatbush consists of several neighborhoods including Prospect Park South, Beverly Square West, Beverly Square East, Prospect-Lefferts Garden, Ditmas Park, and Fiske Terrace. Elevation is 52 feet.
The name Flatbush is an Anglicized version of the original Dutch word Vladbos which means wooded land. In 1651, the area was originally chartered as the Dutch Nieuw Nederland colony town of Midwout. Both names were used in the Dutch era, and Midwood was an alternative name for Flatbush into the early 20th century. Midwood is now describing as the area immediately south of Brooklyn College. Flatbush and the other neighboring towns of what was to become Kings County were surrendered to the English in 1664. Before it became incorporated in 1894, Flatbush described both the Town of Flatbush, incorporating a large swath of central Kings County extending east to the Queens County border, and the Village of Flatbush, formerly the heart of the current community. Many of the remaining early Dutch structures are still in the Flatlands and Marine Park neighborhoods. It was consolidated into the City of Greater New York in 1898. Flatbush was also developed as a suburb and grew into an integral part of the city of New York. Well planned communities developed and by 1910 the area had become a fashionable suburb.
Notable residents living in Flatbush include Barbara Streisand (singer), Busta Rhymes (rapper), Cal Abrams (baseball player), Harvey Fierstein (actor), Mary Tyler Moore (actress), Neil Diamond (singer), and Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Supreme Court justice). The community has traditionally diverse populations, including large communities of ethnic Italians, Jews, and West Indians. The Dutch Reformed Church and Erasmus Hall High School are the famous significant institutions in Flatbush. There are also charming Georgian revival houses feature on the south side of Kenmore Terraces which was one of New York City’s first housing developments to include garages. This has been designated as a Landmark district and residents maintain their property with zeal and enthusiasm. Flatbush has 3,500 one and two-family houses and more than thirty thousand apartments. It is considered one of the most ethnically, culturally, and economically diverse areas in New York City.