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.
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.
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.
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