10. Red Hook Houses is the largest public housing complex in Brooklyn
The Red Hook Houses is the largest public housing complex in Brooklyn, completed in 1939 and designed by architect Alfred Easton Poor. The houses are populated by over 6,000 residents, making up a significant portion of Red Hook’s population. Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and Commissioner Robert Moses applauded the homes, originally built for longshoremen and dockworkers along with their families. Social realist artist Marion Greenwood was commissioned to design the original murals for the 30 residential buildings.
Los Angeles Lakers player Carmelo Anthony and author James McBride lived in the homes. Despite investigations into drug sales, the houses were major cultural centers in the community, especially during its decline in the 1980s and 1990s. Life magazine even named Red Hook as one of the “worst” American neighborhoods and “the crack capital of America.” Due to damage from Hurricane Sandy, FEMA promised the houses $560 million, and repairs such as a flood barrier are still underway.
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