GREENPOINT FACT MAP
(INTRODUCTION) The years between 1856 and 1869 were a time of rapid growth in Greenpoint. Topped with the opening of the original Greenpoint Savings bank in 1869 at Franklin and Oak Streets. More or less a simple time when streets from Ash to Quay were named in alphabetical order as "A" Street, "B" Street", etc.
As the area built up the streets were renamed to Ash, Box, Clay, Dupont, Eagle, Freeman, Green, Huron, India, Java, Kent, Lincoln, Milton, Noble, Oak, maintaining their simple orderly fashion. The current Greenpoint Avenue was ("L" Street) Lincoln Street, sometimes known as Plank Road because of the wooden planks that were constantly laid out upon it so that the residents could attempt to cross it during the high tide of the East River. Also known as National Street for a time, Lincoln Street became a main drag through the center of town competing with Franklin Street, the real main strip of early Greenpoint.
Numbered streets were also popular all over town. Greenpoint's numbered streets began with First Street at what is now Guernsey Street and ended with Ninth Street at what is now Jewel Street. When Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick consolidated with the City of Brooklyn in 1855, Greenpoint and Bushwick renamed their numbered streets to avoid confusion. A fine example of this is Greenpoint's Henry Street which was renamed to North Henry Street to avoid confusion with "Brooklyn's" Henry Street.
Many streets were named and renamed in honor of the times. Calyer Street once known as Clinton Street; Oak Street formerly Madison; and the many names of Manhattan Avenue. Prior to 1863 the Manhattan Avenue strip from Greenpoint Avenue to The Newtown Creek was better known as Union Avenue. The area on Manhattan Avenue from Driggs to Greenpoint Avenue was known as Orchard Street until 1877. Finally the stretch leading up to Driggs Avenue was known as Ewan Street before it was renamed Manhattan Avenue in 1897.
By 1899, Greenpoint was called home by over 70,000 residents. The early
1900's transportation from Greenpoint to "New York" was provided by Ferry's such
as "The Greenpoint", "The NorthSide", "The SouthSide",
"The Martha", "Sylvan Glenn", "The Osprey", "Sylvan
Grove", "The Haarlem", and "The Sylvan Dell". Ferry's
departed for their 10 minute journey from Greenpoint Avenue to 10th Street New York, with
competing Ferry service landing on 23rd Street. In the summer time, a pleasant journey for
residents carrying along a tasty pie from Teddy Slanes of Kent Avenue, or perhaps sneaking
aboard a cold brew from Matt Stantons Saloon. Surely aboard were working class
residents and a quirky eccentric dreamer named Louis Masqueriere. A resident of Java
Street, Louis erected an odd shaped monument in Cypress Hills cemetery. The
inscription was made up of strange hieroglyphics, shorthand and picture writing that
Masqueriere hoped in time would develop into a new alphabet or language that all would use
one day. Although the strange writings are still a mystery, many of the dreams of early
Greenpoint have become a reality.
MAP POINTS OF INTEREST:
STREET NAME ORIGINS:
GUERNSEY STREET - Opened in 1852, probably named after Doctor Egbert Guernsey, founder of The Williamsburg Daily Times.
CALYER STREET - Named after Jacobus Calyer, head of one of the 5 farm families of early Greenpoint.
KENT STREET - Opened in 1852, named after a noted jurist and first professor of Law at Columbia College and Chancellor of The New York Court of Chancerey, James Kent (1763-1847).
LORIMER STREET - Named after James Lorimer Graham who along with his brother was an active real estate developer in Williamsburg.
MILTON STREET - May have been named after a successful manufacturer of sailing materials, Daniel Milton who lived in the area. Milton Street was also opened in 1852.
CONSELYEA STREET - This street retained the property owners' name which went through the farms of Andrew Conselyea
NOBLE STREET - Named after the 1842 Trustee of The Village of Williamsburg , James Noble.
DRIGGS AVENUE - Named after Edmund Driggs, last President of the Village of Williamsburgh
Many Streets were also renamed in 1885 to honor the "signers" of the Declaration of Independence. These names included George Wythe, William Hooper, and Ceasar Rodney.