Until the 1890s, the western portion of the neighborhood was known as Fulton Landing, after the ferry stop that connected it to Manhattan before the Brooklyn Bridge opened. With deindustrialization it began becoming primarily residential, when artists and other young homesteaders seeking relatively large and inexpensive loft apartment spaces for studios and homes began moving there in the late 1970s. The acronym DUMBO arose in 1978, when new residents coined it in the belief such an unattractive name would help deter developers. Near the end of the 20th century, as property became more and more expensive in Manhattan, DUMBO became increasingly gentrified.
The area has emerged as one of New York City's premier arts districts, with a cluster of for-profit art galleries. The first public space in the neighborhood was Fulton Ferry, followed by Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park. Brooklyn Bridge Park, a joint state/city venture presently under development, was launched in 2006.
We are conveniently located in Dumbo, Brooklyn, New York. Barber on Pearl is one of the old-style business. As with many old buildings and people of the past, it has a rich history. Finding it out can be as easy as just talking to people. Thank you to Alex Nochkin, who suggested that the history of the area would make an interesting column.