A bit of Elizabethan England in the Bronx

When you think of the South Bronx, Shakespeare’s sonnets aren’t exactly what come to mind. So how did the Highbridge neighborhood end up with a steep, pretty little street called Shakespeare Avenue?


According to McNamara’s Old Bronx, the land there was owned by the Marcher family. Their estate featured a beautiful “Shakespeare garden,” which was decorated with statues of the Bard himself as well as Romeo, Juliet, Puck, Hamlet, and his other best-known characters. It was also filled with flowers and plants mentioned in his plays. 

When the estate went kaput and the land parceled out in the early 1900s, borough planners created a new street but gave it the garden’s name. 

Row houses built in the 1920s, like these, line both sides of the street, which winds several blocks between Jerome Avenue and the Cross Bronx Expressway.

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2 Responses to “A bit of Elizabethan England in the Bronx”

  1. Sandra Lopez Says:

    If you have more information about Shakespeare avenue, in the Bronx please share it with us at the Shakespeare school PS 199. Pictures, artics etc. at. slopez63@icloud.com Thank You.

  2. Barry F. Bealick Says:

    …it’s nostalgic to read your posts about The Bronx’s Shakespeare Avenue. My childhood memories from the 1950’s and the 1960’s include Shakespeare Avenue, Nelson Avenue, Featherbed Lane, Macombs Road, University Avenue, and Ogden Avenue…Thanks, Sandra, for those memories !

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