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1938: The Red Hook Houses
Red Hook had long been a working-class, immigrant-heavy neighborhood, but it was struck particularly hard by the Great Depression in the 1930s. During the Depression, Red Hook became home to many hastily constructed shelters—dubbed "Hoovervilles" after President Herbert Hoover—that were deemed unsuitable for living and cleared away to make room for the public housing project that would become known as the Red Hook Houses. Although intended to better the neighborhood, the Houses were architecturally drab and incongruous with the rest of the neighborhood's buildings. The Red Hook Houses remain the largest public housing site in Brooklyn, housing over 5,000 people, and have long been notoriously crime ridden. Another, more positive, public project completed in Red Hook around this time was the Red Hook public pool on Bay Street which is Olympic-sized and still an awesome place to go on a hot, summer day.