Greenpoint is the northernmost neighborhood in Brooklyn, surrounded by water on three sides. Greenpoint borders Williamsburg to the south (at Metropolitan Avenue), and East Williamsburg to the southeast (at the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway).
Most of Greenpoint’s waterfront consists of industrial and commercial buildings, testimony to the neighborhood’s history as one of NYC’s shipbuilding centers. In addition, many ironworks, pottery shops, print shops, and glass-blowers’ shops were located here. The inner neighborhood is a mix of multi-family housing and some detached mansions.
Greenpoint has been at the heart of Brooklyn’s shipbuilding industry since its development, and is home to several historical landmarks, among them the launch site of “The Monitor”, Civil War’s first ironclad warship. “The Monitor” was built by the Continental Ironworks of Greenpoint, and started its maiden voyage from Bushwick Creek.
Architectural landmarks abound here – Greenpoint showcases the best styles of “Brownstone Brooklyn” and the grandest efforts of Industrial Age builders. The Astral Apartments on Franklin Street (built by Charles Pratt, founder of the Pratt Institute), is a stunning example of brownstone style adapted to the demands of Industrial Era living. In addition, almost every major building in Greenpoint is an architectural tour-de-force, brilliant in style and perfectly balanced with its surroundings.
Don’t be fooled into thinking Greenpoint is a dusty museum of factory buildings, though. The influx of new residents has revitalized the neighborhood’s nightlife, and Greenpoint now offers an extensive selection of restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues. Over 100 industrial buildings have been converted to loft-style apartments, and new housing is being built throughout the neighborhood.
In addition, the New York City Council has approved large-scale rezoning of the Greenpoint waterfront, allowing conversion of industrial zones to high-rise residential and mixed-use districts. The project also includes a 28-acre waterfront park, retail strips, and a continuous riverfront promenade.
The rezoning project is expected to create approximately 10,000 new apartments over the next 10 years. This new growth, combined with Greenpoint’s location near major East River crossings as well as proximity to the Long Island City commercial district, is an assurance of steady improvement for the foreseeable future.
Public transportation in Greenpoint is provided by 2 subway lines and 5 bus lines. The G train, along McGuinness Boulevard in the middle of the neighborhood, connects Greenpoint residents to LIC and the heart of Williamsburg, including the J/M/Z line. The L train, along the south edge of Greenpoint, is a direct route through Midtown Manhattan to 8th Avenue, as well as Brooklyn’s Mid-County neighborhoods, terminating in Canarsie. Local buses (B24, 43, 48, and 61) bring Greenpoint residents to the Williamsburg transit hub with additional bus lines, as well as the Long Island City district.