How Did Brooklyn Heights’ Fruit Streets Get Their Names?

Orange Street in 1928. Photo via NYPL

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Contrasting quite starkly with the nomenclature of most Brooklyn roads are Brooklyn Heights’ renowned fruit streets, seemingly named on a whim for three random types of produce.

Pineapple, Cranberry and Orange streets are known for their historic architecture, solitude, and prime location near the promenade. Their titles used to better reflect their refined location, having been previously named for the neighborhood’s aristocratic families.

Brooklyn Heights Fruit Streets Pineapple

13 Pineapple Street. Photo by Suzanne Spellen

But legend has it that area resident Lady Middagh took issue with this, finding the designations to be pompous — so she removed the street signs in the middle of the night and replaced them with fruit-themed ones, according to NYC Parks. Somehow, though, a “pompous” street named after Lady Middagh’s own family remains, right next to Cranberry.

A more likely explanation is the streets were named by the Hicks brothers, local landowners who sold exotic fruits, when they laid out the streets in the 1820s. They also laid out the “tree streets,” Poplar and Willow, according to most historians. A street in Brooklyn Heights bears their name as well.

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