Pictured here is a small piece of dead-end road emanating from East 83rd Street south of Avenue J. The road once ran continuously from East 83rd northeast to Grace Church at East 92nd, and much of it forms the northern border of Canarsie Cemetery. Modern maps call it Church Lane, and that’s what the street signs say, but only on the continuous portion from East 87th to Remsen Avenue. The other bits of the road have had small houses built on it, or fenced off as parking lots, or are simply empty lots.
However, older maps and street guides give it a more colorful name…
… the Road to Lott’s House.
Even by 1929, when this Belcher Hyde plate was produced, the lane was dying out. It was one of a group of farm to market roads in Canarsie that preceded the street grid, bits and pieces of which can still be made out while traveling through the area. At sometime over the past few decades parts of it were renamed Church Lane, likely for Grace Church.
Who was Lott?
The Lott family in Brooklyn and in the NYC area go back to Dutch immigrant families in the colonial era. Many NYC streets are still named Lott, as well as several vanished or near-vanished roads such as this one. An over 200-year old house belonging to the Lott family still stands on East 36th Street near Avenue S in Marine Park.
The Lotts in Brooklyn website quotes a 1963 paper presented to Brooklyn College:
On June 8, 1866 by order of the Commissioners of Highways, a road was laid out from the house of Johannes Lott to the Davitson Lane and portions of the Old Canarsie Lane, not included in the new, were discontinued.
The affected area lay between E. 57th Street and E. 92nd Street. The street now lies between E. 83rd Street and E. 92nd Street, between Ave. J and Ave. K, with an extension halfway between E. 85th Street and E. 86th Street. Johannes Lott used the American form of his first name, “John” in later years.