ZION TRIANGLE, Brownsville

by Kevin Walsh

The triangle of Pitkin and East New York Avenues and Legion Street in Brownsville, Brooklyn was called Zion Park as early as 1911. The Zion Park War Memorial, also known as the Brownsville War Memorial, was created by sculptor Charles Cary Rumsey (1879–1922) and dedicated in 1925. It lists local war heroes who died in World War I. The space was renamed Loew Square in honor of the massive Loew’s Pitkin Theatre across the street in 1930, but by 1997 the theatre was long shuttered and the name was changed back to Zion Triangle.

Street name mavens have plenty to chew on here in Brownsville, as many streets have changed monikers over the decades. Barrett Street was changed to Legion in the late 1930s, while Ames Street became Herzl in homor of the Theodor Herzl (1860-1904) the Austrian journalist and father of modern Zionism, a movement that led to the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. Not sure when that change was made, but it was between 1913 and 1938.

Much more in FNY’s Brownsville-East New York page



Jim S. February 4, 2014 - 10:11 am

Spent many days and evenings sitting in Zion Square when I arrived early for a movie or show at the Loew’s Pitkin theatre. (Besides movies, I remember seeing James Brown there even before I first saw him at the Apollo in 1962.) Recently saw a post that the theatre had been bought by the Dept. of Education and is being remodeled into a charter school, so at least the exterior will be preserved. Along with the Loew’s Kings on Flatbush Avenue and the Brooklyn Fox on Nevins Street, it was one of the most ornate, fantastic theatres ever to exist in Brooklyn. As for the monument in Zion Square, from the photo it looks to be graffiti-scarred. Sad.

Bob Sklar February 13, 2014 - 11:31 am

And Douglass St. was renamed to Strauss St. Note that Strauss St’s house numbers directly continue those of St. John’s Pl. St. John’s Pl. begins at the intersection of 5th Av. and… Douglass St. The only really unusual thing about this is that St. John’s Pl. does not continue the numbers of the remaining Douglass St. It starts over again, with #1 at 5th Av. In any case there was never any conflict between the numbers on both parts of Douglass St.

Dovid Gross April 23, 2018 - 4:10 pm

In the 1898 map of Brooklyn, all three were Douglass – Strauss, St. John’s, and the current, remaining Douglass.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.