I was sniffing around Park Hill in Staten Island a few years ago when I came upon this magnificent high school building, constructed in 1894, at Steuben Street and Rhine Avenue. It anchors the rather obscure Concord neighborhood, which since 1964 has been defined by the Staten Island Expressway, Richmond Road, West Fingerboard Road and the Staten Island Railway.
Glancing at the street signs will reveal the names of German rivers and other Germanic names: Steuben, Oder, Neckar, Rhine, Elbe and more; Concord had a predominantly German population after its 19th-Century founding. Emerson Hill is nearby: Judge William Emerson, brother of Transcendentalist author and philosopher Ralph Waldo, lived on it, and R.W. and mutual friend Henry David Thoreau were frequenters of the region.
This is just a taster for what I hope will be a more extensive feature of this pleasant yet obscure neighborhood later on.