Living in Boerum Hill: Things to Do and See in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn

Boerum Hill, Brooklyn—Boutiques and Brownstones

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Boerum Hill, a fashionable district in the 19th century, has transformed into a vibrant, family-oriented community, its residents are drawn to the easy commute into Manhattan with all the benefits living in the outer boroughs: a quieter lifestyle with an urban edge. Despite the "hill" in the name, the neighborhood is flat and parts of it are atop marshes that once bordered Gowanus Creek. Boerum Hill is among Brooklyn’s most affluent neighborhoods, thanks to its slower pace and elegant Victorian architecture.

Where is Boerum Hill located in NYC?

Boerum Hill is in Brooklyn, between Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, and Park Slope.

East to West Boundaries: Fourth Avenue to Court Street

North to South Boundaries: Schermerhorn Street to Warren and Wykoff Streets

Subway: A, C, D, F, G, N, R, Q, 2, 3, 4, 5

Ticket out of the City: Long Island Railroad

What to Do in Boerum Hill

Boerum Hill is known for its chic, independent boutiques and neighborhood bars, especially on Atlantic Avenue and Smith Street, sleek design stores, and casual dining scene with cozy side-street cafés and bistros. There’s an abundance of green space in the neighborhood, including nearby Prospect Park, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, and Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Boerum Hill is a choice destination for writers, artists, and gallerists. The famous Invisible Dog Art Center on Bergen Street is housed in a former factory. Both the Brooklyn Academy of Music, BAM, which offers cultural events galore, and the world-class Barclays Center are both within walking distance. The neighborhood has been featured in several contemporary creative works and was the setting of Spike Lee's movie Clockers (1995), which was filmed in the Gowanus Houses. Famous residents included artist Jean-Michel Basquiat; authors Jonathan Safran Foer and Jonathan Lethem, whose novel Motherless Brooklyn was set in the neighborhood; and actor Ethan Hawke.

What to See in Boerum Hill?

Most of the high-end property offerings in Boerum Hill are among the most expensive in Brooklyn: mid- to late-19th-century brownstones, grand brick homes, and gut-renovated townhouses. The oldest parts of Boerum Hill were designated as a historic district in 1973. These include the rows of Greek Revival and Italianate houses built between the 1840s and early 1870s. A proposal to extend the historic district was approved in 2018. This will nearly double the current district to include portions of of Nevins Street, Wyckoff Street, Atlantic Avenue, and Smith Street.

High-end buyers looking for a home in the historic district can choose from coveted Victorian brownstones and converted carriage houses. Current listings include a 25-foot-wide landmarked townhouse on State Street and a circa-1900 townhouse on Bergen Street. With low turnover rates, landmark homes in Boerum Hill are in constant demand. Luxurious modern apartments are also an option. The 19-story condominium The Boerum offers spectacular views of the Brooklyn skyline and New York Harbor from custom-designed living areas with private terraces.

Where to Eat in Boerum Hill?

Smith Street has become Boerum Hill’s top dining destination with many upscale yet low-key restaurants. A neighborhood favorite is 1-star Michelin-rated Mexican restaurant Claro, which specializes in Oaxacan cuisine. Other popular establishments include the Italian restaurant Rucola and the Spanish restaurant La Vara. There is also a French presence in Boerum Hill, with several French-inspired food shops, bakeries, and restaurants.

What Schools are in Boerum Hill

Boerum Hill has several highly rated public schools, such as the pre-K to 5th-grade PS 261 and the Brooklyn High School of the Arts. Private schools include the Brooklyn Heights Montessori School, Saint Ann’s School, and the Packer Collegiate Institute in nearby Brooklyn Heights, as well as the Brooklyn Friends School in Downtown Brooklyn.

How Many People Live in Boerum Hill?

As of 2016, approximately 26,928 live in Boerum Hill.

Explore our luxury properties for sale in Boerum Hill

Boerum Hill Map: Homes on the Market

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