Newkirk Plaza

Newkirk Plaza is an essential community center located at the intersection of the Flatbush, Kensington, and Midwood neighborhoods of Brooklyn.

Below its deck are open-air subway tracks providing B/Q express service via the Brighton Line. Above lies the “oldest open-air shopping mall in New York” (some say the oldest in the country!).

At once an express subway station, outdoor shopping plaza, and economic corridor, Newkirk Plaza sees over 10,000 visitors pass through every day. There are 34 different merchants located along the eastern and western sides of the Plaza, including a 111 year old barbershop, some of the best pastries and sandwiches in the neighborhood, and old school diner favorites. 

While the Plaza has seen many improvements over the last few decades, there is still much work to be done. What should be a vital economic and community plaza with opportunities for events, green spaces, and a community meeting place, is unfortunately riddled with problems. The main problem is that no city agency has claimed ownership over the Plaza, and there are diverging and disputed claims as to who should be responsible for its upkeep and maintenance.

Learn more about the history of Newkirk Plaza in the video “Newkirk Plaza: A Unique History” by Dr. Enright on behalf of CB14, which documents the origin of this unique ownership arrangement using actual photos and contemporaneous reports.

This letter represents the ongoing efforts by Brooklyn Community Board 14 to bring Newkirk Plaza under the auspices of a city agency and preferably into the DOT Pedestrian Plaza Program. This is the accumulation of office efforts, planning fellow research, and volunteer community member efforts towards this goal.
Report by Lucy Phillips, Fund for the City of New York Fellow, on the context and status of Newkirk Plaza
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