UNIQUE SIGN, Greenwich Village

by Kevin Walsh

I have something of a fascination for St. Luke’s Place in Greenwich Village, as it has a unique west to east street numbering scheme and is one of the few streets in Manhattan, if not the only one, to change names between blocks. It’s really a section of Leroy Street, which continues west of Hudson Street and then at a bend in the block east of #17 St. Luke’s Place, which then transforms back into Leroy and continues its house numbering: thus, #57 and #55 Leroy, with decreasing house numbers going east, can be found east of #17 and #16 St. Luke’s place, with decreasing house numbers going west. This is a neighborhood in which West 4th meets West 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th, so weirdness is no big deal there.

Since St. Luke’s Place in its entirety faces James J. Walker Park (the former mayor lived at #6 St. Lukes Place), the usual odd numbers on one side, evens on the other house numbering scheme is dispensed with here and house numbering follows the cardinal sequence of 1, 2, 3 etc. up to 17: except for 13, which is replaced by 12 ½.

St. Luke’s Place is actually a rare survivor in an old tradition. Formerly, various blocks in the city grid where subnamed, or actually renamed, as Places. For example, West 8th between 5th and 6th Avenues was called Clinton Place at one time, and the far east end of East 50th Street was known as Dunscomb Place many decades ago. There are dozens of more examples: just peruse a Manhattan map from the late 19th or early 20th Century.

The corner building at #420 Hudson/#1 St. Lukes is also unique. The building dates to 1852 and has an entrance on both streets, hence the dual addresses, and is the only example of a chiseled building street sign I have found in the city that in addition to the streets, also helpfully lists the numbered addresses!

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Zalman Lev August 24, 2022 - 10:52 pm

The building at the southeast corner of Metropolitan Avenue and Humboldt Street has markers that are similiar to these. One side (Metropolitan Avenue) shows an address of 550 NORTH 2ND STREET, and the other (Humboldt Street) shows 370 Humboldt Street. Google Maps cars can’t seem to get a good shot of it.

Zalman Lev August 24, 2022 - 11:47 pm

In perusing my map library after the above was posted, this building goes back to at least 1868 as it appears on Higginson’s Volume IV or Brooklyn.

Kevin Walsh August 25, 2022 - 10:55 am


Zalman Lev August 24, 2022 - 11:05 pm

Another instance I have a note on is the building at the northeast corner of Lexington Avenue and East 67 Street, 901 Lexington Avenue. In this case metallic gold letters were mounted on the building, not on inset bricks, displaying the street addresses. The Lexington Avenue address mentioned previously and also 131 EAST 67 STREET.

chris August 25, 2022 - 3:38 pm

Jimmy Walker,the only alumnus of my school to become famous


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