The history of Williamsburg

In 1661 the city of Boswijck was established. The name of the town was later changed to Bushwick. It was in the 19th century that it became an independent community called Williamsburg . When it was finally annexed with the Brooklyn neighborhood, great industrial, cultural and economic growth began to be noticed. All the local businesses began to grow. Rich New Yorkers like Cornelius Vanderbilt and railroad mogul Jim Fisk chose to build their mansions in Williamsburg.

These wealthy were followed by Charles Pratt and his family. Pratt founded the Pratt Institute, which was and still is today a very important school of art and architecture. This Brooklyn neighborhood can also boast of being the home of the Corning Glass Works before the company moved to Corning, New York . When the German chemist Charles Pfizer came to America, he chose to settle in Williamsburg and founded the pharmaceutical company Pfizer.
Most of Williamsburg’s residents were of German descent, however when the Williamsburg Bridge was built a lot of Jews moved from Lower East Side to Manhattan. Williamsburg can also boast of being a great financial center, as it was home to two great community banks: Williamsburg Savings Bank (1851) and Dime Savings Bank (1864) which is now known as the DIME.

In 1898, Brooklyn officially became one of the five boroughs of New York. Williamsburg really began to thrive when the Williamsburg Bridge opened in 1903 and grew to become a popular area. There are a lot of historical monuments in the neighborhood that you must visit if you are in the area.