December 2013: Pretty much going to be One Shot Mania from the ForgottenArchives till I get a new computer installed and my photo collection back.

In the early 20th Century these navy and white numbers were standard issue Queens street signs, hanging on telephone poles by the thousand. Beginning in 1915, Queens underwent a shift from named streets to numbers, and in some cases old numbering systems were supplanted by the new numbers.

But many area denizens remembered the old names, and these signs helpfully accommodated them by listing the old name in smaller type under the present name.

In the 1940s and 1950s, enamel black on white signs replaced them, which were in turn replaced by blue on white vinyl signs in the 1960s. The present green signs showed up in the 1980s.


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4 Responses to BARCLAY’S CENTER: 1915

  1. Alan Gregg Cohen says:

    Those early 20th Century navy blue and white signs look ancient compared to todays signs. I grew up in northeastern Queens, and as a young child in the 1960s until leaving for college in 1978 and my family relocating to California in 1980, the only signs I remember are the old white vinyl signs with blue lettering (or numbering) on them. I remember that each borough had it’s own “color series” of signs (which made it easy to tell what borough you were in) when vinyl signs were first introduced, and before the entire city changed to the green background with white lettering (or numbering) signs on them.

    • Alan Gregg Cohen says:

      That early 20th Century street sign which stood at the intersection of Barclay Avenue and 154th Street in Flushing intrigued me to look into the pre-1915 name of 154th Street in Flushing, which was actually 14th Street and not 14th Avenue (which is what is on the sign), according to a G.W. Bromley map I consulted from 1909. Furthermore it’s quite interesting to note that in pre-1915 Flushing, when new north-south streets were being opened (and planned) eastward from Murray Street towards todays Francis Lewis Boulevard (then known as Whitestone Road before taking on the Cross Island Blvd moniker); that the first numbered street started with 12th Street and ran to 37th Street (today’s 192nd Street), which met Whitestone Road (Francis Lewis Boulevard) at an approximate 45 degree angle. The only exception to the old planned numbering system was in the planned Auburndale development with Crocheron Avenue to it’s north and Broadway (Northern Boulevard) to it’s south, Floral Avenue (Auburndale Lane) to it’s west and Whitestone Road (Francis Lewis Boulevard) to it’s east where names were given instead of numbers. Why would they start a numbering system with the number twelve instead of one? It’s my guess that it’s because Murray Street is approximately eleven blocks west of the first street in Flushing; Lawrence Street (todays College Point Boulevard). What do you think Kevin?

  2. Ty says:

    An intersection that is no more.

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