DYKER HEIGHTS HISTORY

Street Renaming Proposals

At our meeting on April 14, 2009, Christian Zaino, DHCA Historian and President of the Dyker Heights Historical Society, updated us about his two street renaming proposals, for De Russy Drive and Walter Johnson Corner. Christian presented an interesting history of our neighborhood and the biographies of General Rene E. De Russy (1789-1865), the engineer under whose direction Fort Hamilton was built and whose estate became what is today known as our neighborhood of Dyker Heights, and of Walter Loveridge Johnson (1873-1953), founder and developer of Dyker Heights. Mr. Johnson's house was the first built (c. 1895) in Dyker Heights and once stood on the corner to be renamed. He donated the property where St. Philip's stands and our Dyker Civic meetings are held today. Please take a look at the applications and figures submitted by Christian as well as the newspaper articles.

Walter L. Johnson Individual Honoree Document      Walter L. Johnson Figures

General De Russy Individual Honoree Document        General De Russy Figures

We are pleased to announce that...

The NYC Parks Dept. has APPROVED the application to rename the circular drive in Dyker Beach Golf Course after General De Russy. "De Russy Drive" was offically celebrated on July 1, 2009.

 AND

Community Board 10 has APPROVED the renaming of the corner of 82nd Street and 11th Avenue after the Developer of Dyker Heights, Mr. Walter L. Johnson! Mayor Bloomberg signed the bill into law on December 28, 2009. On May 15, 2010, the street renaming ceremony took place for "Walter L. Johnson Corner."

"It's 'History' in the making: Dyker Heights Moves to Honor the Legacy of Developers and Designers", Bay Ridge Courier, Apr. 23, 2009

"Historian Seeks to Honor Dyker's Founding Fathers", Brooklyn Spectator, Apr. 25-May 1, 2009

"Board 10 Says: Dyker Heights Founder Should Be Honored with Street Name", Bay Ridge Eagle, June 4, 2009

"Board 10 OKs New Name For Dyker Heights Street Corner", Home Reporter and Sunset News, May 28-June 3, 2009

"Street Name Change?", The Brooklyn Spectator, May 9-15, 2009 

"De Russy Drive’ Debuts", Bay Ridge CourierJuly 9, 2009

"Path Through Park Given Name of 1800s General De Russy", Bay Ridge Eagle, July 9, 2009

"De Russy Drive Make its Official Debuts", Bay Ridge CourierJuly 16, 2009

"Dyker Beach Golf and Catering Hall Ribbon Cutting Ceremony", Bay Ridge CourierJuly 16, 2009

"Council Passes Five Local Street Renamings”, Bay Ridge Courier, Thursday, December 31, 2009  

"Dyker Heights Founder to Be Honored With Street Corner Name", Brooklyn Eagle, January 18, 2010 (on-line)

 "Gentile Hosts Ceremony Renaming Street in Honor of Dyker Heights Founder", Brooklyn Eagle, May 20, 2010 (on-line)

Holding the plaque is Christian Zaino DHCA Historian and President of the Dyker Heights Historical Society. At left is Dawn Marie Gallagher (New York City Events Manager at the Dyker Beach Golf Course Catering Hall) , wtih Fran VellaMarrone at right (President of the Dyker Heights Civic Association). Photo Credit: John Calabrese, July 1, 2009.

 

City Councilman Vincent J. Gentile (center left) and State Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny (center right), along with Matt Silver Regional
Director of Catering for American Golf (left), and 68th Precinct Deputy Inspector Eric Rodriguez (right) unveil the plaque of General De Russy. Photo Credit: John Calabrese, July 1, 2009.

 


Christian Zaino (left) and Fran VellaMarrone (middle) help Adrian Benepe Commissioner, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation unveil the plaque of "De Russy Drive". Photo Credit: John Calabrese, July 1, 2009.

 

Ribbon Cutting for the new Dyker Beach Golf Course Catering Hall and De Russy Drive. Photo Credit: John Calabrese, July 1, 2009.

 

Christian Zaino (left) and Fran VellaMarrone (middle) and Adrian Benepe Commissioner, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation stand next to the plaque of "De Russy Drive." Photo Credit: Steve Solomonson, July 1, 2009.

 

The honorable Mayor Michael R Bloomberg (left), Fran VellaMarrone (middle), and Christian Zaino (right) celebrate the signing of the bill for Walter L. Johnson Corner. Photo Credit: NYC Mayor’s Office, December 28, 2009.

 

DHCA Historian & Dyker Heights Historical Society Founder Dr. Christian J. Zaino, MD (left), DHCA President Fran VellaMarrone, Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny (middle), State Senator Martin Golden, and Councilman Vincent Gentile (right) celebrate the renaming of 82nd Street and 11th Avenue "Walter L. Johnson Corner." Photo Credit: Councilman Vincent Gentile's Office, May 15, 2010. 

A crowd of Dyker Heights residents listen to City Councilman Vincent J. Gentile deliver a speech at the newly renamed Walter L. Johnson Corner at 82nd Street and 11th Avenue on the afternoon of May 15, 2010. Seated are: Congressman Michael McMahon's proxy Melissa Batha, State Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny, DHCA Historian Dr. Christian J. Zaino, DHCA President Fran VellaMarrone, and State Senator Martin J. Golden. Photo Credit: Joseph A. Cavalcante Jr., May 15, 2010.

 

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Goria House, 1925

"Old Dyker" - a photo album which contains many "then-and-now" photos of Dyker Heights, created by Historian Christian Zaino: http://dykerheightscivicassociation.com/PhotoAlbums/album_001/ 

 

 

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Saitta House, 1901

History of The Saitta House - This 67-page report, created by Christian Zaino, placed the Saitta House on the State and National Registers of Historic Places: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

 

 

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Walter L. Johnson, 1907

Contact Me - Direct any questions, comments and suggestions you may have regarding Dyker History or this webpage to me, Christian Zaino, historian, by e-mailing Historian@dykerheightscivicassociation.com or by clicking on the "Contact Us" button to the left.

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The following photos are from The New York Times Real Estate Section, July 13, 2008: 

13th Avenue between 83rd and 82nd Streets, as featured in The New York Times Real Estate Section, July 13, 2008

Dyker Beach Golf Course, as featured in The New York Times Real Estate Section, July 13, 2008

New sign for Junior Golf Center at Dyker Beach Golf Course, as featured in The New York Times Real Estate Section, July 13, 2008

A "Dyker Lights" home at Christmas time, as featured in The New York Times Real Estate Section, July 13, 2008