Gravesend, Brooklyn (Then and Now)
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Permanently settled in 1645, the farming town of Gravesend, Long Island, was annexed to the city (now borough) of Brooklyn, New York, in 1894. Few reminders from Gravesend’s rural days survive around the urban landscape it has become. Even its more recent past is quickly disappearing.
Congress Control Number: 2008939826 Published by Arcadia Publishing Charleston SC, Chicago IL, Portsmouth NH, San Francisco CA Printed in the United States of America For all general information contact Arcadia Publishing at: Telephone 843-853-2070 Fax 843-853-0044 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org For customer service and orders: Toll-Free 1-888-313-2665 Visit us on the Internet at www.arcadiapublishing.com On the front cover: Just three families have occupied Gravesend’s
here around 1915, stood at the corner of Van Sicklen Street and Village Road North until 1929, when it was demolished for the schoolyard of P.S. 95. James Hubbard did not name the streets that form the sides of Gravesend’s village square when he surveyed them in the 1640s. An 1850s auction advertised property on North Street near West Street, but these labels were not fixed. Some maps join all four streets under the directionless name Village Road. Today’s Village Road North, seen here
backyard to photograph the most awesome sight in Sea Gate. Erin L. Vosgien, junior publisher at Arcadia, saw a need for this book the moment I proposed it. She made each step of the project enjoyable. Inspiration came largely from the example of my good friend Michael V. Susi, whose own Arcadia Publishing titles are models of precision. All my colleagues at the library of the New-York Historical Society helped in some way, but for their guidance I am especially grateful to Jean W. Ashton and
moving to 2338 with her son, Samuel. Vincenzo Lucchelli bought the house in 1904 and added its two-story wing in 1924. His daughter Theresa (1901–1997) planted the towering catalpa tree on Arbor Day, around 1907. This smallest of Brooklyn’s surviving Dutch houses was designated a New York City landmark in 2009. (Courtesy of John Antonides.) In 1886, the Brooklyn Jockey Club opened a mile-long racetrack bounded by Kings Highway, Ocean Parkway, Johnson’s Lane (defunct), and McDonald Avenue.
Kings Highway and Highlawn Avenue are identical to those a block over on West Eighth. In all, there are 131 Singer homes on both streets. They sold quickly when new due to the proximity of the Sea Beach Subway Line (today’s N train). Designed in muted shades of “tapestry brick” on the 1700 block of West Tenth Street, Otto Singer’s Old English Dwellings were first advertised in 1913. Unlike his earlier homes on West Eighth and Ninth Streets, which run in unbroken rows, Singer built these in