Greenpoint’s street names were once lettered, from A to Q, but in the late 19th Century were given actual names, in alphabetical order. In north Greenpoint, the names reflect the area’s industrial past next to Newtown Creek — Ash, Box, Clay; south of there, the names switch in emphasis to the formerly bustling commercial shore of the East River, as shipments from the world over as well as the Great Lakes arrived at its docks: Huron, India, Java.

I was lollygagging through Greenpoint last summer when I arrived at the Box House Hotel on McGuinness Boulevard and its (so far) unexplainable Checker cab collection. The Box House calls itself a hotel, but really houses upscale rental apartments in what once was an office building for one of the shipping concerns plastics manufacturing plant.


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3 Responses to BOX STREET

  1. Joe Fliel says:

    I hope the staycationing urban exploring transplants who inhabit this place aren’t averse to being infused, in an artisanal manner of course, with industrial chemical residue. This structure wasn’t a former shipping concern. It was one of three plastic production plants owned by Harte & Co, which is still in business. The other two locations were across Box St. (109 Clay) and across from what we oldtimers who grew up in the Point called Dupont Park. That plant encompassed 53-93 Dupont, Franklin, from Dupont to Clay and around the corner on Clay, to mid-block. I lived across the street from the Dupont St. plant, in 76. During my youth (mid 1960s), we would be showered, on a regular basis, with plastic ash from the place. We used to joke about the summer snowstorms whenever this stuff started blowing out of the large stack on the Franklin St. side of the building.

    • Joe Fliel says:

      As a side note, there is a lot, near 60 Dupont St., which we cleverly referred to as “The Lot”. On the right side of The Lot, there was a low trellised fence, covered with grapevines, which were common throughout the neighborhood. By climbing over the fence, we entered a kid’s paradise: we had access to every backyard on Dupont, Franklin, Eagle And Manhattan. We used to play block square games of team tag, Hot Peas N’ Butter, and recreating every major battle of World War II there. Also, in the rear of The Lot, there was a short, fat, battered old tree, which the older denizens would tell us, was there when they were children (some of these folks were born in the late 1870s) ; and, that the tree was the last original tree left over from the old Peter Bennett farm. Bennett was one of the first five settlers in what became Greenpoint; his house was located near the East River shoreline, on Dupont St. That would’ve made the tree almost 300 years old at the time. Unfortunately, the person who became the new owner of The Lot decided that the tree was unsightly and cut it down in the mid 1980s.

  2. Sandra says:

    I’m trying to find where a Hoare and Dailey, glass cutter factory was in existence in 1867-1870 or so. It was on Commercial Street near Box Street according to the 1867 directory. I assume it would be close to the corner. Does anyone know if that building is still in existence? Probably doubtful, but thought I would ask. Thanks. Sandra

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