Culture on the Cheap
Dead Presidents: Madison Street
Yesterday 11222 was kind enough to bring another extinct Greenpoint street to my attention. She writes:
I think the streets below Franklin all had different names, because Oak St. is not Oak St. between Franklin and West – i canâ€™t recall the name now but itâ€™s got a nice old brick street name block that is beautiful when the light is right.
Immediately upon reading this I threw on a pair of shoes, grabbed my camera and walked down there. She was right.
After a little research I learned that there were (at one time or another) two Madison Streets and two Madison Places in Brooklyn. In fact, the above-depicted street was once known as “Madison Place” as well. Wouldn’t you love to be a mailman in say, 1890? I wouldn’t. Yikes.
The other “dead presidents” of Greenpoint (as I like to call them) are:
- Washington (now known as West Street)
- Lincoln (now known as Greenpoint avenue)
- Jefferson (I am still trying to pin this one down, but it was located in the far southeastern section of Greenpoint)
The only surviving
president Postmaster General we Garden Spotters have top boast of is Franklin Street, and it too came close to getting the ax.
P.S.: On the way home I found another unexpected treat.
As some of your may be aware, the streets of north Greenpoint run in alphabetical order from north to south. This is no accident. Initially these streets had no “names” at all. They were lettered, e.g., “A” Street, “B” Street, “C” Street, and so forth. The above example of the old system can be found at the southeast corner of Noble and Franklin Street.