DUMBO is both a neighborhood and an acronym, standing for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. DUMBO describes the areas located between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges and those east of the Manhattan Bridge. The Vinegar Hill area continues eastward from DUMBO to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, along the East River Waterfront. The areas are bordered by Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn Heights, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the East River, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
The neighborhood was originally an industrial center, and although present-day DUMBO is home to a number of lofts, large apartment buildings, and many new constructions, there remains a number of manufacturing and industrial companies, and much of the area retains the feel and aura of its original use. Fulton Landing, the western portion of DUMBO, served as the docking place for the ferry service that connected Brooklyn to Manhattan prior to the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. Nearby is the tobacco warehouse, where shippers offloaded their wares for storage prior to processing. Vinegar Hill was named after a historic rebellion in Ireland by the Irish immigrants who populated the area and worked in the navy yard during the late-eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The name “DUMBO” first appeared in the late 1970s and was coined by the artists who moved into the area during deindustrialization, when many of the factories were converted into lofts. The architectural variety and steady stream of new development in the areas continue to attract new residents and growing industries to Vinegar Hill and DUMBO.