How the Streets of the Village Got Their Names, Part 2

Posted October 6th, 2017 by Elana Zinoman, Matthew Pravda, Christopher L Riccio

Gay Street - The history of Gay Street is a bit more speculative than many of the other streets in the Village although many historians support the idea it was named for Sidney Howard Gay, a prominent abolitionist of the time.

Greenwich Street & Greenwich Avenue - Named for the once independent village of Greenwich which was absorbed by New York City as it grew.

Grove Street - Grove Street has seen several names through history, being named for several different people that found homes on the block. It received it’s final name due to the large amount of greenery found along the street, much like a “grove”.

Horatio Street - Similar to many Village streets, Horatio Street is named after General Horatio Gates a resident on the block at the time of its naming. General Gates was a controversial General of the time, having won the Battle of Saratoga, but according to some caused the loss at the Battle of Camden during the Revolutionary War.

Jane Street - Named for Mr. Jaynes, the owner of the land Jane Street now runs through.

Leroy Street - Named for Jacob Le Roy a shipping merchant who ran a blockade against the British in the War of 1812.

Morton Street - There are two different ideas on how Morton Street got it’s name. The street is either the namesake of John Morton, who was known as the “rebel banker” at the time due to his lax lending habits (mainly to the Continental Congress), or it is named after John Morton’s eldest son, Jacob Morton a well-liked political figure at the time.

Perry Street - Perry Street is named after Commodore Oliver H. Perry, a US Naval Hero in the War of 1812.

Waverly Place - When Sir Walter Scott, a novelist during the 1800’s, died in 1832 the citizens of the Village wanted to honor him and instead of naming a street directly after him they chose one of his novels, Waverley. At the time they spelt the novel’s title wrong leading the street we know as Waverly.

Washington Place - This street gets its name from none other than George Washington, the same as Washington Square Park which divides the street in half. Washington Square has a long history of varying uses most infamously it was a burial ground known as Potter’s Field for New Yorker’s that succumbed to Yellow Fever. For the 15th Anniversary of the 4th of July, the field was declared the official grounds for the Independence Parade and has been used as a public park ever since.