An Obvious Observation by 17th-Century Sailors: How Greenpoint Got Its Name

An undated image, likely from the 1910s, of Manhattan Avenue. Photo via Ephemeral New York

by
4

Brownstoner takes on Brooklyn history in Nabe Names, a series of briefs on the origins and surprising stories of neighborhood nomenclature.

Brooklyn’s northernmost neighborhood, Greenpoint is known for its Polish heritage and waterfront views.

Located closer to Manhattan than parts of Brooklyn, the area boasts some of the city’s finest pierogis and loveliest cross-river views. While not quite within the brownstone belt, Greenpoint’s housing stock is quaint and historic, with plenty of townhouses mixed in with the old factories and new condo towers.

Architectural highlights in the neighborhood include a plethora of landmarked churches as well as New York’s oldest continuously operating public school.

Greenpoint is named for its lush topography. Sailors traveling past the nabe in the 17th century were struck by a grassy point jutting out past the shoreline — a point of green. Later, the title was applied to the entire neighborhood.

greenpoint-brooklyn-name

Photo by Mary Hautman

greenpoint-neighborhood-name

Photo via the Brooklyn Historical Society

Related Stories
Fire-Wrecked Greenpoint Warehouse to Become Amenity-Rich 155-Key Hotel
Affordable Buildings Progress at the Mega-Project That Will Transform Greenpoint
Creative Couple Stocks Greenpoint Rental With Homey Vintage Finds

Email tips@brownstoner.com with further comments, questions or tips. Follow Brownstoner on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

 

Brooklyn in Your Inbox

* indicates required
 

What's Happening