The sweet story behind Brooklyn’s Love Lane

Today’s Love Lane is a cute one-block mews stretching from Henry Street to Hicks Street in Brooklyn Heights. 

But back in pre-Colonial times, it was an Indian trail leading to the nearby East River. And when the Dutch arrived in Brooklyn, it became a popular path for romantic walks.

An 1894 New York Times article states:

“The oldest residents can remember a time when there was a cool and shady path leading down “Lover’s Lane,” where plump, rosy-cheeked Dutch maidens, with their sweethearts, meandered on summer evenings out through the turnstile and down the grassy bank to the water’s edge.” 

I wonder if the name may have been reinforced by the presence of the Brooklyn Collegiate Institute for Young Ladies, an early 19th century finishing school located on what is now called College Place, a tiny lane that intersects Love Lane.

Perhaps eligible Brooklyn bachelors took romantic walks with some of the students here, making the Love Lane name really stick. 

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13 Responses to “The sweet story behind Brooklyn’s Love Lane”

  1. – Read The Full Story | Startup Websites Says:

    […] The sweet story behind Brooklyn's Love Lane « Ephemeral New York […]

  2. A street by any other name – Gropecunt Lane – London – Brooklyn? « Fading Ad Blog by Frank H. Jump Says:

    […] Ephemeral New York posted today about Love Lane in Brooklyn Heights (see image above). Contemporaneously, my friend Dr. Andrew Irving and I were walking in Brooklyn Heights the other evening after seeing the German film The White Ribbon, and while passing Love Lane, he told me the story about Gropecunt Lane in London. Magpie Lane in Oxford, once known as Gropecunt Lane – Wikipedia […]

  3. fadingad Says:

    So funny that you posted this. A friend and I walked past Love Lane the other day and had this conversation about the possibility that it was once called Gropecunt Lane. See my blog posting to this effect. Best, Frank Jump

  4. fadingad Says:

  5. wildnewyork Says:

    Gropecunt Lane–now that’s a street sign worth stealing!

  6. Elsewhere « Visualingual Says:

    […] The Sweet Story Behind Brooklyn’s Love Lane: aww… […]

  7. When Manhattan parks featured lovers’ lanes « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] the history of a colonial-era Lovers’ Lane in Brooklyn […]

  8. Happy Valentine’s Day from Love Lane « Visualingual Says:

    […] Lane is a block-long alley in Brooklyn Heights; the excellent Ephemeral New York offers a bit of its history. Happy Valentine’s Day! Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to […]

  9. 18th century Chelsea’s winding, romantic Love Lane « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Luckily Brooklyn didn’t obliterate their Love Lane. This historic alley has a romantic back story. […]

  10. Melissa Mesku Says:

    Famed Brooklyn-born writer Henry Miller lived with his second wife for a time in a basement apartment on the corner of Henry Street and Love Lane. “They festooned the walls with bizarre frescoes and painted the ceiling violet.” The poor couple found themselves out of their league: “Our neighbors all had limousines, butlers, expensive dogs and cats whose meals made our mouths water. Ours was the only house on the block which had been broken up into apartments.” This was the New York setting in which the definitive love affair of his life took place, as depicted in most all his books, and much is said of their time in the apartment particularly in his book Plexus. This apartment was also the setting of the real-life love triangle depicted in the movie Henry and June.

  11. When Second Avenue was known as Lovers’ Lane | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] days; Central Park and Riverside Park also had tree-lined paths designated for couples. And Brooklyn Heights’ Love Lane has a sweet story behind […]

  12. Kurly Kilps second impressions. | The Awkward Black Doctor Says:

    […] shit), I finally struck gold at the most randomly placed CVS in Brooklyn. It was on a street called Love Lane, tucked away between brownstones and prewar buildings in Brooklyn Heights. I wonder what the NIMBYs […]

  13. The unromantic tale of Bronx’s Valentine Avenue | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Love Lane; some city parks also had Lovers’ Lanes. And Brooklyn Heights still has its own Love Lane, a sweet former mews off Henry […]

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