ARDSLEY SIGN, Douglaston

by Kevin Walsh

I found this sign on the Douglaston peninsula recently, at West Drive and Ardsley Road. It was hiding behind a hedge, but I have a feeling it’s been there for some time. I was wondering if this was indeed a standard issue street sign from the old days, since replaced by the standard pole-mounted signs, but the address, #110, on the West Drive sign seems to indicate that the property owner had them installed. Douglaston addresses now use the standard Queens hyphenated numbered address, i.e. 37-01, 37-02, etc.

1949 Hagstrom map

The city has been undecided over the years about how to name the streets of Douglaston. The British sounding names of today were the original ones when the community was laid out in the late 1800s, but in the mid-20th Century the city wanted to include the peninsula in its numbered grid system, so maps were made with numbered avenues and streets. I’m not sure if the numbers ever “took.” On this map, West Drive is Douglaston Parkway and Ardsley Drive is 235th Street. The old names were put back on the maps in the 1970s.

I do know that the streets in Douglaston Hill, which on this map are the streets just east of the yellowed part of Douglaston Parkway, were numbered until about a decade ago, when these streets, too, received the original names such as Poplar, Orient, Cherry, that they had when first laid out.

Meanwhile, most of Little Neck’s numbered streets were laid out after Queens streets had begun to be assigned numbers, so they never had names. So, they’ll stick with their numbers.

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John April 13, 2021 - 5:59 pm

It looks like a local association installed sign. There were similar ones on Todt Hill Staten Island an exclusive area. Some years ago they were removed and standard upper/lower case ones were installed.

Alan Gregg Cohen April 15, 2021 - 1:46 pm

I just looked at a Google map of Douglas Manor and it showed a pattern of single to triple digit addresses. On Grosvenor Street, the lowest number being 5 and proceeding eastward to the highest number 378. I wonder if these too were the original numbered addresses and when they later received the Queens hyphenated addresses, they eventually reverted back to their original addresses. I noticed that a similar situation exists in Malba a few miles to the west of Douglas Manor.

Chickie D. April 24, 2021 - 10:55 pm

You might consult the local Douglas Manor Association about what happened at the time of the creation of the historical district. I was new to the community then, and told I had to change my address from 239th Street to Prospect Avenue. The folks around the corner changed their address to reflect the new street signs saying “hillcrest”. It is (at least to me) official now. When I call for a delivery I am often told “we don’t go to Brooklyn, sorry” so maybe the name change is still not universally accepted. The NYC tax bill always finds me though.


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