Dyker Heights is a family-friendly community known for its large 18th and 19th Century homes as well as its yearly Christmas lights displays. The neighborhood is located in the South Western part of Brooklyn and is bounded by 7th and 14th Avenues, 65th Street, and the Belt Parkway on the west, east, north, and south, respectively. The demographics of the neighborhood is mostly Italian American, with the next largest population being of Asian descent, some Hispanic and minimal representation of other races.
The neighborhood has a history of affluence that is exemplified by its tree-lined blocks Victorian style homes in the area. The first residents were local government officials or wealthy professionals. Notably, Scott Baio, an actor from the TV sitcom, “Happy Days”, and New York News Anchor, Rosanna Scotto, both grew up in the area. The area has been a mostly Italian-American neighborhood with some of its early residents founding The Roman Catholic Shrine Church of Saint Bernadette located on 13th Avenue between 82nd and 83rd streets.
One noteworthy form of entertainment that is very unique to the identity of the Dyker Heights neighborhood is its displays of Christmas Lights. Each year families from around the 5 boroughs visit the neighborhood’s extensive presentation of Christmas Lights and decorations. Homes feature Winter Wonderland, Santa’s North Pole and Nativity Scene themes throughout; a tradition that dates back to the 1980’s. Another staple in the neighborhood is the Dyker Beach Park and Golf Course. This 6,438-yard par 72 course was originally designed in 1897. Residents today can enjoy a few friendly rounds of golf, or use the venue as an event space for weddings, anniversary parties and Sweet Sixteens.
Of the approximately 150 homes initially built by Walter L. Johnson, about half remain; while the others have been razed and replaced by large Mediterranean villas, condos, as well as semi and fully attached homes. The typical Dyker Heights residences had five rooms each on the first and second floors and four rooms on the third. These homes feature parlors, libraries, fireplaces, and dens. Very few of the newer homes fit into the historic context of Dyker Heights, and many of the original surviving homes have been extensively renovated and remodeled.
The Brooklyner, “As a Dyker Heights resident, I think that’s wonderful,” said District Manager of Community Board 10 Josephine Beckmann. “I’ve known it for a while. I’ve raised my family and I have a home in Dyker, so I would agree. It’s our parks, our schools. Certainly, all the factors together is probably the reason it’s in the report.” The median rent in the area is around $1400 and while the median sales price hovers about