Eclectic, engaging and electric, the area surrounding our Carroll Gardens hotel is one of Brooklyn’s busiest and most bustling. But it hasn’t always been this way. The neighborhood underwent sweeping changes over the past several centuries, moving from a Revolutionary War battleground to a bucolic brownstone outpost to a modern area that stands as a dining, drinking and culture destination in its own right.
Carroll Gardens — the neighborhood surrounded by Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Gowanus and Red Hook — earned its name in honor of Charles Carroll. Carroll was an important figure in national and local history by serving as Maryland’s first senator, signing the Declaration of Independence and fighting against the British in the Battle of Brooklyn in the Revolutionary War. Carroll also remains the namesake of a small, picturesque park in the middle of the neighborhood.
By the late 1800s, the area — also known as “South Brooklyn” — had transformed into a haven for classic Brooklyn brownstones, each with its own sizeable stoop and private front garden. The gardens, stoops and brownstone architecture live on today as a beautiful reminder of years past and the vital heart of the neighborhood.
As the 20th century dawned, an array of immigrant groups populated the area. Irish, Italians and French arrived in the area, lending their unique ethnic influences to the neighborhood’s culture, cuisine and more. Even today, just a short walk from Nu Hotel, there are a slew of delicious restaurants and long storied businesses founded by Carroll Gardens’ early immigrant populations.
Today, the neighborhood is bustling with commerce and culture. Smith and Court streets are richly populated with boutiques, bars and restaurants, giving locals and visitors plenty to see, do, eat, drink and explore. Nu Hotel serves as an excellent jumping off point for the discovery and exploration of the rest of Brooklyn’s beautifully diverse neighborhoods. For additional information on Brooklyn’s backstory, visit the Brooklyn Library website.