I’ve been fond of showing excepts from a Dripps map of Queens County produced in 1852 (linked from here), showing roads that existed back then and explaining where they are today — I’ve done several in the past and may do some more in the future. But the other day I was using my Transit Museum membership to take in the Rise of the Redbirds (R33 and R36 subway cars) exhibit and also saw their absorbing and comprehensive transit map exhibit.
One of the maps shown especially piqued my interest: the George Nostrand/Ohman Maps “Routes of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company” produced in 1936, showing IRT routes. However I keyed on a part of the city the IRT has never penetrated: Maspeth, Queens. The map is also a detailed street map and it shows what city streets in Queens were named before most of them received numbers.
In this excerpt you probably would not know many of the streets except if you have made a study of them for many years as I have. However, there are traces of these names around if you know where to look.
Hyatt Avenue (65th Place) is chiseled into the gateposts at the Ridgewood Plateau markers at 65th Place and Jay Avenue.
Rowan Street is mentioned in the small black and white signs at the 65th Street IND station at Broadway.
Fisk Avenue can still be found on signs at the elevated Flushing Line #7 train station at 69th Street on Roosevelt Avenue.
Of the streets on the map, Grand, Perry, Clinton, Hull, Jay, Caldwell, Ankener Avenues, and Hamilton and Remsen Places have kept their old names, surviving because they’re somewhat athwart the overall numbered grid.
I got more shots of this map during my visit. Suprisingly the map is in the NY Public Library collection, but isn’t in their online collection, so the Transit Museum exhibit will have to do if you want to see it without going through the NYPL’s rigmarole.