The Evolution of Greenpoint: From Oil and Sewage to Gentrification
Since Greenpoint started to attract displaced Manhattanites in the early 1990s, the cost of renting in the neighborhood and nearby Williamsburg has shot up a staggering 78.7 percent. According to a 2015 study published by NYU’s Furman Center, Greenpoint/Williamsburg is the most rapidly gentrifying neighborhood in New York City. What many newcomers don’t realize is that despite its name, Greenpoint has historically been anything but green. In 1978, the Greenpoint Oil Spill became one of the largest in the country’s history, and today the Newtown Creek is one of three Federal Superfund Program sites in New York City, chosen because it is “one of the nation’s most polluted waterways.” So how did Greenpoint go from sewage to gentrification?