The History of Kings Highway, a Road Almost as Old as Brooklyn

Kings Highway in 1910. Photo via Andy Blair via Flickr

    by

    Kings Highway is a long, broad avenue extending from Bensonhurst to Brownsville — and it used to be even longer. Today it serves as a main artery for Brooklyn, growing and shrinking in lane quantity as it spans a massive chunk of the borough.

    kings highway brooklyn

    Kings Highway and West 10th Street in 2011. Photo via Google Maps

    Well over 200 years old, the highway — the first road designated as such in the United States, according to some sources — originated as a Canarsee Indian trail before coming to serve as the spine for many smaller, already-established roads and cow paths throughout Kings County.

    kings highway brooklyn

    Kings Highway and Coney Island Avenue in 1977. Photo via Wikipedia

    The top photo shows the highway in 1910, sans lanes, tar, crosswalks, streetlights or any of the other modern additions visible on the span today. In the image, children play on Kings Highway and West 11th Street, with the photo taken facing West 10th Street. The area is visibly rural, a stark contrast to the blocks of stores and apartment buildings that fill the adjacent streets today.

    kings highway brooklyn

    Kings Highway in summer 2012. Photo via Wikipedia

    Related Stories
    This Remarkable Flatbush Mansion Used to Be a Kings Highway Icon
    Revolutionary Soldiers Carved Names on Beams of This Now-Gone Dutch Farm in Flatlands
    The House at the End of Queens Boulevard

    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