UNION AVENUE, Greenpoint

Greenpoint’s spine, Manhattan Avenue, was once called Union Avenue, likely named for theĀ  1863 Union Baptist Church on Noble Street or theĀ  Union Porcelain Works, founded by Thomas Smith in the 1860s and whose mansion still stands at 136 Milton Street.

Eventually the name was changed to Manhattan Avenue to differentiate it from the “other” Union Avenue that runs on a north-south route through Williamsburg. There, Manhattan Avenue was once called Ewen Street.

Can you imagine a street in Manhattan called “Brooklyn Avenue”? I can’t.


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3 Responses to UNION AVENUE, Greenpoint

  1. Joe Fliel says:

    Manhattan Avenue’s previous name predates the Baptist church by more than a few years. From Newtown Creek to Greenpoint Avenue, it was Union Place/Union Avenue. From Greenpoint Avenue to Van Pelt (later Driggs) Avenue, it was called Orchard Street. From van Pelt, south to Broadway, is where Ewen Street ran.

    Years ago, there was a Thos. Roulston’s grocery store on the ground floor of the building in your photo. Thos. Roulston Stores was a grocery chain with its headquarters in Gowanus. At one time, there were over 700 stores throughout the city and L.I. There was another store located at 995 Manhattan, on the northwest corner of Huron St.

    Re your previous posting about A.S. Beck Shoes, the “flagship” store was located at 843 Manhattan Avenue, on the northwest corner of Noble/Manhattan, through the late 1940’s. Interestingly, this building was also the last of four locations which the Greenpoint Savings Bank called home prior to the opening of the famous domed building on the corner of Calyer/Manhattan. It was here 1888-1908. A.S. Beck took over this location the following year.

    • Joe Fliel says:

      “From Greenpoint Avenue to Van Pelt (later Driggs) Avenue”

      Sorry. That should be Van Cott Avenue. Van Pelt later became Engert Avenue.

  2. Anonymous says:

    very cool, i was walking, looked up and just noticed it today! Cheers!

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