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History of Ridgewood


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Welcome to Ridgewood, the central community.. Ridgewood is in the center economically, socially architecturally and even geographically. Ridgewood is not yet the hot, trendy yuppie community, nor left out in the economic cold. Ridgewood was the “woods on the ridge” just between Brooklyn and Queens. Being in the center of two boroughs buts is on the edge of two important parts of New York. The rock that was the official boundary between the two boroughs is located in Ridgewood’s favorite historical landmark, the 1731 Dutch farmhouse, the Onderdonk house. Arbitration Rock, as the famous rock is called, was set at Onderdonk and Montrose Avenues to end a dispute that lasted from 1660 until 1769 over the boundary between Brooklyn and Queens.

Ridgewood is not too tall and not very short. The housing is under six stories, with many owner occupied houses rich in stone ornamentation. We have a few one family homes but the nineteenth century developer of the community, Gustav Mathews built multiple dwellings. Gustav Mathews acquired farmlands and built the Mathews Flats, a complex of more than eight hundred six-family brick row houses of three stories each. The houses sold for more than $11,00 or rented for $15 a month. Paul Stier built a similar development from 1908 to 1914 between 67th and 70th avenues, using tan brick and lumber of the highest quality (much of the housing in the neighborhood consists of his row houses, about half of which are occupied by their owners. These rock solid houses form the heart of the community. Ridgewood was declared a historic zone 25 years ago because of the quality and consistent architectural style of these houses.

Ridgewood is all about going somewhere and coming from what we call “the city”-- Manhattan. The community is served by the “L” and “M” lines, which converge at Wyckoff Avenue. That puts us two subway stops from the trendy entertainment of Williamsburg. We are a twenty-minute ride to Union Square on the “L” train.

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