The Greenwood Heights neighborhood takes its name from nearby Greenwood Cemetery. The neighborhood is bounded by the Prospect Expressway to the north, Gowanus Canal to the west, Eighth Avenue to the east, and 39th Street to the south. The neighborhood has become a quiet, family friendly area with a mix of Hispanics, older Polish American and Italian American families, Chinese, African American, and middle class Brooklynites who have relocated from other higher-priced neighborhoods.
The history of Greenwood Heights is much more than its famed namesake cemetery. The area was once the site of a Revolutionary War battle - The Battle of Brooklyn during the Revolutionary War - where only a fortunate fog saved George Washington's army. Battle Hill in the graveyard is the highest natural point in Brooklyn. The cemetery actually inspired the creation of both Prospect Park and Central Park. Founded in 1838, the impressive 478-acre cemetery is so much more than its name suggests. The space doubles as a cemetery where some prominent New Yorkers like famed artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat, were laid to rest in the National Historic Landmark.
The area has seen an influx of luxury condominium apartments since the rezoning in November 2005. The neighborhood was more of a residential area mainly made up of 1- and 2-family homes. Post-rezoning, while new development sites have occurred, there has been a new trend of home renovations, many of them "gut renovations" but others taking neglected c. 1900 wood-frame houses and restoring them to their historical look. Greenwood Heights' architectural mix of wood frame, vinyl sided and brick homes gives the area an eclectic look and feel, different from its neighbors Park Slope to the north and Sunset Park to the south.
Eateries like Giuseppina's and Toby's Public House that fire up brick-oven pizza on Sixth Avenue have led a recent charge of new dining spots into Greenwood Heights. Retail stores have been slow to follow; but nearby Park Slope services the area with shopping, restaurants and bars. The neighborhood is served by the 36th Street, 25th Street, and Prospect Avenue stations on the New York City Subway's BMT Fourth Avenue Line, served by the D, N, R, and W trains.