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History of Brooklyn New York Street Names

East New York Street Names highlighted in red.

Albermarle Road
Takes its name from London’s Albermarle Road in the Borough of Kensington, named for the Duke of Albemarle.

Argyle Road
Like Albermarle Road, the name Argyle Road (most likely for the Duke of Argyle) dates from the late nineteenth century, a time when references to all things British were thought fashionable.

Atlantic Avenue
Originally a private avenue leading to Ralph Patchen’s farm on the East River, it was named Atlantic Street in 1855, and Atlantic Avenue in the 1870s.

Avenue G
In anticipation of the consolidation of New York City, the Town Survey Commission of Brooklyn mapped a street grid that would one day encompass the parts of Kings County that were not yet included in the City of Brooklyn. The consecutive east-west avenues south of Prospect Park were named for letters of the alphabet.

Avenue J
In anticipation of the consolidation of New York City, the Town Survey Commission of Brooklyn mapped a street grid that would one day encompass the parts of Kings County that were not yet included in the City of Brooklyn. The consecutive east-west avenues south of Prospect Park were named for letters of the alphabet.

Bath Beach
Once a fashionable seaside resort, the neighborhood of Bath Beach takes its name from the English spa of Bath.

Bedford Avenue
The longest street in Brooklyn, Bedford Avenue runs from Greenpoint to Sheepshead Bay, and is named for the Brooklyn village of Bedford Corners.

Belmont Avenue
Named for August Belmont (1813-1890), the Wall Street financier and sportsman who began the annual Belmont Stakes horse race.

Beverley Road
At the request of developers, in 1897 the City of Brooklyn changed a stretch of Avenue B to the British-sounding Beverley Road; later, the remaining sections of the street were renamed Beverly Road, using the American spelling (without the third “e”).

Bogart Street
Named for Tunis Gisbertse Bogaert, progenitor of the Bogart family in Kings County, who emigrated in 1652 from the Netherlands.

Bridge Street
The planned spot for an unrealized bridge connecting Brooklyn to Manhattan.

Bristol Street
Sources are inconclusive on how Bristol Street got its name. Do you know?

Broadway
Brooklyn’s Broadway, originally called Division Avenue, named for the world-famous street in Manhattan.

Canarsie Lane
Defunct Canarsie Lane ran to the village of Canarsie on Jamaica Bay, named for the Canarsee, the native inhabitants of the area.

Church Avenue
Named for the church it passes, the oldest on Long Island, the Flatbush Reformed Dutch, organized in 1654 (current building erected 1793-98).

Coney Island Avenue
Extends from Prospect Park to Coney Island.

Cooper Street
Named for Hannah Cooper, across whose property it was laid.

Cortelyou Road
Named for Jacques Cortelyou (ca. 1625-1693), a surveyor who plotted the area that would become the town of Nieuw Utrecht (New Utrecht).

Court Street
Runs parallel to the federal and state courthouses.

DeKalb Avenue
Named for the self-styled German “Baron” Johan de Kalb (1721–1780), who served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.

Driggs Avenue
Named for Edmund Driggs, last president of the Village of Williamsburgh before it became part of the city of Brooklyn in 1855.

Dumont Avenue
Named for the Swiss minister and philosopher Pierre Etienne Louis Dumont (1759-1829).

East New York Avenue
Named for the neighborhood it runs through, which was established by John R. Pitkin in 1835.

Eastern Parkway
Laid out in the 1870s as part of a grand (though largely unrealized) network of radial boulevards running from Prospect Park to eastern and southern Brooklyn, this street was once called, simply, “the Parkway.”

Elton Street
Sources are inconclusive on how Elton Street got its name. Do you know?

Emmons Avenue
Named for the descendants of Andries Emans, an Englishman who settled in Gravesend in 1661; there are many variant spellings of the surname, including Emmons.

Evergreen Avenue
Named for Bushwick’s Cemetery of the Evergreens, to which it leads.

Flatbush Avenue
The English word Flatbush is likely a corruption of the Dutch “vlackebos,” meaning “wooded plain.”

Flatbush Turnpike
An earlier name for Flatbush Avenue; a tollhouse from the days one had to pay to travel it is preserved in Prospect Park.

Fort Hamilton Avenue
Now called Fort Hamilton Parkway, this street leads to the fortifications at the Narrows named for Alexander Hamilton (c. 1755–1804), first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.

Frost Street
Named for Edmund Frost, who owned property in Williamsburg’s 14th ward.

Fulton Street
Named for Robert Fulton (1765–1815), the inventor who launched steamboat ferry service between Brooklyn and Manhattan in 1814.

Gates Avenue
Named for Revolutionary War general Horatio Gates (1727–1806).

Gatling Place
Named for Richard Jordan Gatling (1818–1903), inventor of the rapid-fire machine gun.

Gowanus Road
Named for the Canarsee Indian sachem “Gouwane,” or for the Dutch word “gouwee,” which means “bay.”

Greene Avenue
Named for Revolutionary War officer Nathanael Green (1742–1786), who is also remembered in the surrounding neighborhood, Fort Greene.

Greenpoint Avenue
Named for the once grassy slopes of the village of Greenpoint along the East River.

Grove Street
One of several tree-named roads in the Bushwick-Ridgewood Area (e.g. Catalpa Avenue, Linden Street, etc.).

Halsey Street
Named for James M. Halsey, a property owner and real estate developer who lived in the area.

Hamburg Avenue
During a wave of World War I-inspired anti-German sentiment, Hamburg Avenue was renamed Wilson Avenue for President Woodrow Wilson.

Hubbard Place
Named for the descendants of James Hubbard, who, in 1645, was one of the original patentees of the neighboring town of Gravesend.

Humboldt Street
Named for naturalist Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859).

Irwin Street
Fills the “I” position in the alphabetical street system of Manhattan Beach, which runs from “A” (Amherst Street) through “Q” Quentin Street)).

Jerome Avenue
Named for financier and horseman Leonard Jerome (1817–1891), maternal grandfather of Winston Churchill and one of the principal investors in the Sheepshead Bay Race Track, which bordered the street.

Johnson Avenue
Named for War of 1812 brigadier general Jeremiah Johnson (1766–1852), a descendant of many early Brooklyn families.

Joralemon Street
Named for Teunis Joralemon (1760–1840), an early resident of Brooklyn Heights.

Kent Avenue
Named for James Kent, first professor of law at Columbia University.

Knickerbocker Avenue
Named for Washington Irving’s 1809 satire, A History of New-York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty, by Diedrich Knickerbocker; parallel Irving Avenue is named for the author himself.

Lawrence Street
Named for Charles K. Lawrence, son-in-law of Revolutionary War-era surgeon Dr. John Duffield (the namesake of nearby Duffield Street).

Liberty Avenue
In contrast to the toll charged riders on the Brooklyn and Jamaica Turnpike (today’s Jamaica Avenue), one could travel Liberty Avenue for free (i.e. at liberty).

Madison Avenue
Like Manhattan’s street by the same name, Brooklyn’s also honors President James Madison (1749–1812).

Manhattan Avenue
Named for Brooklyn’s sister borough across the East River.

Metropolitan Avenue
Originally called Bushwick Street, then Woodhull Street, and, later, North Second Street, it was combined with the Williamsburgh and Jamaica Turnpike around 1858 to form Metropolitan Avenue.

Middagh Street
Named for John Middagh or his father, Aert, who were early residents of Brooklyn Heights.

Miller Avenue
Named for Francis Miller, founder of the Society of German Physicians in New York, who served as trustee of the East New York Savings Bank.

Montague Street
Originally called Constable Street, the current misspelled name honors Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762), an English poet and early champion of smallpox inoculation who was a relative of Brooklyn’s Pierrepont family.

Myrtle Avenue
The first Brooklyn street to be paved, it takes its name from the myrtle bushes that once grew in the area.

Navy Street
Named for its proximity to the United States Navy Yard, better known as the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which operated between 1801 and 1966.

Newkirk Avenue
Named for the seventeenth-century settler Garret Cornelissen van Nieuwkercke, whose farm it traversed.

Norman Avenue
Named for Derick Volkertse, a Norseman (Norman) who settled in Bushwick in 1645.

Nostrand Avenue
Named for the descendants of Hans Hansen Von Norstrand, who arrived in Flatbush in 1638.

Oakland Street
Renamed McGuinness Boulevard in 1964 for Peter J. McGuinness (1888–1948), a City Alderman and Democratic leader of Greenpoint.

Ocean Avenue
Like Ocean Parkway, Ocean Avenue runs from Prospect Park to Brooklyn’s southern shore.

Ocean Parkway
Connects Prospect Park to the shore. It was once called, simply, the Boulevard.

Oriental Boulevard
Named for the Oriental Hotel, which opened in 1880 and was demolished in 1916.

Osborne Street
Sources are inconclusive on how Osborne Street got its name. Do you know?

Pacific Street
Probably named for the warehouses of the Pacific Stores, which were located on the street.

Palmetto Street
One of several tree-named roads in the Bushwick-Ridgewood Area (e.g. Catalpa Avenue, Linden Street, etc.).

Pierrepont Street
Named for Hezekiah Pierrepont (1768-1838), the primary developer of Brooklyn Heights in the early nineteenth century.

Pitkin Avenue
Named for Connecticut merchant John R. Pitkin, who in 1835 bought land in what is now East New York, where he hoped to establish a counterpart to New York City.

Powell Street
Named for Samuel S. Powell (1815-1879), two-time Democratic mayor of Brooklyn (1857-1861; 1872-1873).

Prospect Place
Like Prospect Park, this street is named for Mount Prospect, Brooklyn’s second highest point (the highest is in Green-Wood Cemetery).

Ralph Avenue
Named for Ralph Patchen, a nineteenth-century Brooklyn landholder, who is also the namesake for neighboring Patchen Avenue.

Ridge Boulevard
Once it crosses into Bay Ridge south of 65th Street, Brooklyn’s Second Avenue becomes Ridge Boulevard, a name reflecting the neighborhood’s position atop the high terminal moraine left by the last Ice Age.

Rogers Avenue
Sources are inconclusive on how Rogers Street got its name. Do you know?

Sheepshead Bay Road
Led to the village of Sheepshead Bay, named for the sheepshead, a kind of fish once found in its waters.

Sheffield Avenue
Named for English nobleman John Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham and Normanby (1647-1721).

Shore Road
Once literally a road along the shore, Bay Ridge’s Shore Road is now significantly farther inland: landfill put the Belt Parkway (opened 1940) along the water’s edge.

Starr Street
Sources are inconclusive on how Starr Street got its name. Do you know?

Sullivan Place
Sources are inconclusive on how Sullivan Place got its name. Do you know?

Sutter Avenue
Named for Peter D. Sutter, Brooklyn Democratic boss of the 26th Ward.

Thatford Avenue
Named for Gilbert Sayre Thatford (1822-1902), a local resident and dealer of real estate, who was a founder of the First Congregational Church of New Lots.

Van Siclen Avenue
Named for the Van Sicklens, an early seventeenth century Dutch farming family of Flatbush and Gravesend.

Vernon Avenue
Sources are inconclusive on how Vernon Avenue got its name. Do you know?

Voorhies Avenue
Named for the descendants of Coert Stevensen Van Voorhies, who emigrated in 1660 from the Netherlands, and bought land in Gravesend near Sheepshead Bay in 1691/2.

Watkins Street
Sources are inconclusive on how Watkins Street got its name. Do you know?

Willow Street
Likely named for the tree which was once prevalent in the area.

65th Street
One of many Brooklyn roadways mapped to a numerical scheme in 1874 by the Town Survey Commission of Kings County.

82nd Street
One of many Brooklyn roadways mapped to a numerical scheme in 1874 by the Town Survey Commission of Kings County.

84th Street
One of many Brooklyn roadways mapped to a numerical scheme in 1874 by the Town Survey Commission of Kings County.

85th Street
One of many Brooklyn roadways mapped to a numerical scheme in 1874 by the Town Survey Commission of Kings County.

86th Street
One of many Brooklyn roadways mapped to a numerical scheme in 1874 by the Town Survey Commission of Kings County.

East 36th Street
One of many Brooklyn roadways mapped to a numerical scheme in 1874 by the Town Survey Commission of Kings County.

East 98th Street
One of many Brooklyn roadways mapped to a numerical scheme in 1874 by the Town Survey Commission of Kings County.

North 5th Street
One of several numerical streets in Williamsburg; those above Grand Street are designated North 1st through 15th Streets; those below Grand are South 1st through 11th.

North 6th Street
One of several numerical streets in Williamsburg; those above Grand Street are designated North 1st through 15th Streets; those below Grand are South 1st through 11th.

South 1st Street
One of several numerical streets in Williamsburg; those above Grand Street are designated North 1st through 15th Streets; those below Grand are South 1st through 11th.

South 5th Street
One of several numerical streets in Williamsburg; those above Grand Street are designated North 1st through 15th Streets; those below Grand are South 1st through 11th.

3rd Avenue
One of many Brooklyn roadways mapped to a numerical scheme in 1874 by the Town Survey Commission of Kings County.

18th Avenue
One of many Brooklyn roadways mapped to a numerical scheme in 1874 by the Town Survey Commission of Kings County.

21st Avenue
One of many Brooklyn roadways mapped to a numerical scheme in 1874 by the Town Survey Commission of Kings County.

Brighton Line
Popular nickname of the Brooklyn, Flatbush, and Coney Island Railroad, which opened in 1878 between Atlantic Avenue and the Hotel Brighton, on Coney Island.

East New York
Named by Connecticut merchant John R. Pitkin who bought land in 1835, on which he intended to establish a counterpart to New York City.

Ebbets Field
Named for Charles Hercules Ebbets, Jr. (1859–1925), part-owner and president of the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team.

Prospect Park
Named for Mount Prospect, Brooklyn’s second highest point (the highest is in Green-Wood Cemetery), which was excluded from the completed plan of the park.

Sheepshead Bay
Named for the sheepshead, a kind of fish once found in its waters.

Wallabout Market
“Wallabout” is a corruption of the Dutch words “Waal” and “Bocht,” meaning either “a bend in the river” or “Walloon Bay,” a reference to the Walloons, the French-speaking refugees who settled in the area in the seventeenth century.

Comments

Comment from Lawrence De Graw
Time May 28, 2011 at 11:15 am

Just wondered where I might obtain some viable information on the history of the DeGraw Street name.
My mom (now deceased) once told me that one of our ancestors was the captain of a schooner in the area that would later come to be known as the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Is there any connection or truth to this? Also, any ideas how I might track down more info on the street name origin? My family and I would very much appreciate any leads — Thank you.

Lawrence A. De Graw
Ocala, FL

Comment from admin
Time June 2, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Hi Lawrence,

I found this link on a genealogy forum that has info about DeGraw St. in Brooklyn.

http://genforum.genealogy.com/degraw/messages/98.html

there is an address in one of posts of a lady who has more information.

hope it helps.

Comment from Jono Miller
Time January 1, 2012 at 12:13 am

RE: Palmetto Street ….Catalpa and Linden are examples of trees that might grow in Brooklyn. But palmettos are southern trees. Does anyone know what year these tree-named streets got their names?

Comment from KENNETH KATTA
Time February 22, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Could you shed some light on the history of the naming of Seeley Street in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn? Thanks.

Comment from jack mckillip
Time October 12, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Looking for origin of name for ‘Sumpter’ street

Comment from Rich Stagg
Time November 12, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Looking to find out about Stagg St,Brooklyn,NY.

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