Willowbrook, Staten Island

Willowbrook, Staten Island

Willowbrook, Staten Island

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Willowbrook is a neighborhood in Staten Island, one of the five boroughs of New York City. It is located in the region of the island usually referred to as Mid-Island, immediately to the south of Port Richmond, to the west of Meiers Corners and Westerleigh, to the north of New Springville, and to the east of Bulls Head.

Named for a brook that flowed through the area's farmland, Willowbrook once lay at the heart of the island's agricultural zone, and first saw other significant development when a military hospital opened there during World War II. After the war ended the property became the site of Willowbrook State School, a state-run institution for mentally retarded children that became the scene of a national scandal in the 1970s when it was revealed that the children housed there were the victims of widespread abuse and neglect. The facility was forced to close by 1987, and six years later a campus of the College of Staten Island opened at the site. Willowbrook Park, a large city park, borders the college on the west. It was also home to the Seaview Hospital tuberculosis sanatorium, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.

The neighborhood was also drastically transformed with the opening of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in November . Soon after this, the farms were sold and broken up, and residential housing was built on the property. Many of the owners of the newly built homes were Jewish families, and...
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