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Bedford is a community in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, centered approximately at the corner of modern-day Fulton Street and Franklin Avenue. Its name is better known today as part of the larger neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Bedford, in pre-American Revolutionary War times, was the first settlement to the east of the Village of Brooklyn, located on the Jamaica Turnpike to Jamaica, Queens. It formed a crossroads with roads to Williamsburg to the north and Bedford Road to Flatbush to the south.
The advent of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) in 1836 established Bedford as a railroad town as well and, in 1878, the building of a terminal and junction with the Brooklyn, Flatbush and Coney Island Railway (BF & CI) made Bedford a gateway to Coney Island.
The LIRR continues to operate the Atlantic Branch on its original route, though it is now in a tunnel under Atlantic Avenue west of Bedford Avenue and on an elevated structure east of that point. Bedford Station, originally west of Franklin Avenue, is now located two blocks east on the structure and is known as Nostrand Avenue Station. The BF & CI is now part of the BMT Franklin Avenue Line subway and its station is now located at the corner of Fulton and Franklin.
Bedford has many historic brownstones. These homes were developed by speculative developers for the expanding middle to upper middle class from the 1890s to the late 1910s. Many of these homes contain highly ornamental detailing throughout the interior of the home and have classical architectural elements, such as brackets, quoins, fluting, finials, elaborate frieze and cornice banding.
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