The Department of Transportation recently bagged another pair of ancient street signs in Brooklyn recently, as on today’s Fort Greene foray I found the pair shown here had finally been removed. The signs were on Auburn Place between St. Edwards Street and North Portland Avenue, marking the ghost of N. Elliott Place, which serves here as a service road to the rear of the Cumberland Diagnostic center (originally New Cumberland Hospital).


These signs were already in place when I first became aware of street signs in the early 1960s. I believe they were first installed in the 1950s and they battled for supremacy with older “humpback” signs that also showed the cross street. The DOT removed a remaining sign on a nearby isolated stretch of Willoughby Street in 2015, and they have now completed the task of old or nonstandard sign removal here in 2017. Google Street View shows the signs still in place in November 2016, so the deed was done within the last six months. 

Beginning in 1964 color-coded vinyl signs replaced the older signs, and in 1984 Federally-mandated green signs were installed.

May 2017 photos show the signs gone and rust spots on the lamppost marking where they had been. 

I hope the signs found good homes and didn’t wind up in the scrap heap.

All is not lost; I still know of one of these that is still in place. I’m not saying where.

“Comment…as you see fit.”


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3 Responses to RIP AUBURN PLACE SIGNS, Fort Greene

  1. Jeff B. says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these non-standard signs are added to collections due to their nature before DOT replaces them.

  2. mike in fla via bklyn says:

    The first picture, the signs yes, but the brick work! Kudo’s to the bricklayers craftsmanship!
    I could not help being drawn to the brickwork while checking out the signs. By the way, very nice picture, kudo’s also to the camera person=).

  3. Gordon D Satteson says:

    The brick work is what caught my eye, also. Masterful.
    Are those roundish “columns” on either side of the windows also made of brick, or maybe terra cotta?

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