When Bushwick Avenue was the “Boulevard”

Many of the tenements built in East Williamsburg in the late 19th century are still standing—and so are a handful of the street signs chiseled into them, which give the names of the cross streets at the corner.

Boulevardandmeseroletsign

They’re charming little history lessons about old Brooklyn. Take this one for example, at Meserole Street and Bushwick Avenue, which calls Bushwick Avenue “Boulevard.”

Meseroleandboulevardsign

Boulevard? Here it is again, in a much more faded sign carved into a tenement on the other side of the street.

A check of an old guidebook reveals that there were plans at one time to give this major thoroughfare a grander name. “Bushwick Boulevard was the name proposed for the road taking in Bushwick Avenue and other Streets,” 1912’s The Eastern District of Brooklyn tells us.

And a search of the Brooklyn Eagle archives turns up many references in real-estate listings to “Bushwick Avenue Boulevard.

With the gentrification of the neighborhood underway, will new residents want to turn Bushwick Avenue into the more stately sounding Boulevard?

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One Response to “When Bushwick Avenue was the “Boulevard””

  1. Catharine Says:

    The second photo works well as a visual illusion, too. Cool.

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