Posts Tagged ‘Old street signs’

The cross streets carved into tenement corners

December 3, 2012

Hiding in plain sight in the city’s tenement districts are the names of streets that intersect at certain corners.


Chiseled into a cement plate, they’re the 19th and early 20th century solution to figuring out where you were a 100 or so years before the GPS on your phone could do it for you.


Not always in the best condition, like this East Harlem example above, these corner carvings are charming and fun to come across.


The best neighborhoods to find them: the Lower East Side, East Village, Hell’s Kitchen, East Harlem, and the brownstone enclaves of Brooklyn.


Sometimes you only find one street name—Like Mott Street here at Broome Street, with a tiny T that looks like it was added by hand!

The oldest street sign in Brooklyn

June 6, 2011

Maybe it is—it’s hard to tell how long ago this rusted old sign at the corner of Marlborough and Albemarle Roads went up.

And since it’s located in Prospect Park South, a planned suburban community developed around 1900, it may not be an official city street sign but a decorative one meant to mark the beginning of the neighborhood.

Hidden among the thick leaves of a tree and behind contemporary street signs attached to a Bishop’s Crook lamppost, the Marlborough Road sign has probably seen many decades of Victorian Flatbush history.

Here’s another old-school Brooklyn Street sign still standing tall in Fort Greene as of 2009.

Old-school street signs on buildings

September 8, 2008

If you look up enough, you start to notice a lot of these—building corners with the names of the intersecting streets designed into the structure. 

On an apartment house in the West Village:

On the Tony DaPolito Recreation Center near the Soho border:

In the South Bronx (that’s Brown Place and the obscured 136th Street):

And on a stately apartment building on University Place (corner of West 12th):