Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Remember White Sands (Brooklyn)?

August 22nd, 2007 · No Comments

If you read GL, you know we dig Kevin Walsh‘s Forgotten NY. The site is full of fascinating nuggets of information, like his FNY webpage on the corner of Brooklyn known as White Sands. If you know the part of Brooklyn between Gravesend and Coney Island, you might know it as the site of a Home Depot. But, not too long ago it was an odd little neighborhood. Mr. Walsh explains:

Ever heard of a Brooklyn neighborhood called White Sands? If you haven’t, no big deal…most Brooklyn historians haven’t either! Perched in the no man’s land between Bath Beach and Coney Island, White Sands, settled around 1925-1930, lies between Cropsey Avenue on the east, Dreier-Offerman Park on the west, the Belt Parkway on the north, and Coney Island Creek on the south.

Up until a year ago, it was a collection of modest homes and bungalows arranged neatly on four dead-end streets. The bungalows were originally built on stilts above white-colored sand, which was eventually removed to fill the Coney Island beach, decimated by a hurricane in 1938. (Broad Channel still has houses on stilts). Landfill replaced the white sand, but the neighborhood’s name has remained.

A year ago, most of White Sands began to evacuate.

Why is most of White Sands clearing out? Mosquitoes? Malathion? Asbestos? No, the answer is much more prosaic. Money.

This area of Brooklyn is becoming attractive to big-box retailers, who erect vast stores on as much acreage as they can find. With its handy location next to the Belt Parkway and Cropsey Avenue, White Sands attracted the notice of Home Depot.

Check out the full FNY page on White Sands by clicking here.

Tags: Gravesend