A quintessentially Brooklyn neighborhood, Williamsburg brings together some of the best of local arts, theater, restaurants, and nightlife in an area that is rich in history. Williamsburg is bordered by Greenpoint in the north, Bedford–Stuyvesant in the south, Bushwick in the east, and Fort Greene in the west.
Williamsburg’s formal history begins in 1661 when the Dutch West India Company chartered the town of Boswijck on land that included what is now Williamsburg. For 140 years, the area of Williamsburg was referred to as Bushwick Shore by English settlers who took over the Dutch town. In 1802, Richard Woodhull, who owned a large parcel of land in the area, named his property after Colonel Jonathan Williams, a contemporary who was an engineer and congressman. As the area’s popularity grew in the first decades of the nineteenth century, what was declared the Village of Williamsburg succeeded from the Town of Bushwick in 1827. Industrialization made Williamsburg, already a thoroughfare for shipping goods to Manhattan, expand rapidly and experience both residential and commercial growth. From the 1970s into the present, Williamsburg has attracted artists and musicians from across the city and around the world, most moving from SoHo and the East Village across the river to Brooklyn.
The area is served by a number of public elementary schools, including P.S. 16, P.S. 17, P.S. 250, P.S. 132, P.S. 84 (with a Spanish-English program), and P.S. 110 (with a French-English program). Additionally, the area is home to I.S. 318, and a number of charter schools, academies, and small high schools that serve the needs of the community and borough through a variety of programs such as architecture, EBT (enterprise, business, and technology), and legal studies.