Posts Tagged ‘Sheriff Street’

Defunct Sheriff Street’s infamous resident

March 10, 2009

Sheriff Street used to run from Houston to Grand Streets on the Lower East Side. But then housing developments built in the 1940s obliterated it, and all that remains now is this lonely sign beside the Williamsburg Bridge.

sheriffstreetsign Not much distinguished Sheriff Street from other streets in the jam-packed immigrant neighborhood in the early part of the 20th century.

Except for one thing: Sheriff Street was the location of the childhood home of Ethel Rosenberg, executed with her husband Julius for espionage in 1953.

According to Ethel Rosenberg: Beyond the Myths, by Ilene Philipson, Sheriff Street was a loud, dingy block:

“[Ethel] was delivered at 64 Sheriff Street, a tenement house between Rivington and Delancey Streets. The trains traveling to and from Brooklyn over the Williamsburg Bridge, a half-block away, provided a loud and constant drone against which the street offered up its cacophony of voices and clatter.”


“A synogogue and several small machine shops were also on the block. Taken together, these various enterprises gave Sheriff Street a distinctly commercial cast, although the many ┬átenements housed hundreds of people above the din and tumult of the street,” Philipson writes.