Brownstoner Revisits Hunt’s Lane, and a Note on Alleys

A few months ago, your correspondent was walking south on Henry Street between Joralemon and Remsen and came to the entrance of Hunt’s Lane. A thought dawned (“Sun dawns on Marblehead!”, as his Massachusetts-born wife says); in his almost 28 years’ living in the Heights, he had never walked down it. Indeed, it was the one block in the Heights he had never traversed. He did, and took the photo above. A few days ago, Brownstoner revisited Hunt’s Lane, and did this story, with lots of better pictures.

The Brownstoner piece links to a Forgotten NY story about “The Alleys of Brooklyn Heights”, with which, despite the overall admiration I have for this website, I have a bone to pick. It includes, correctly, Hunt’s Lane and Grace Court Alley, which are not only alleys but blind alleys, having, in both instances, no exit on the north end. It also correctly includes Love Lane, which is not a blind alley but, in my view, given its width, an alley nevertheless. It ignores College Place, the blind alley that extends northward from Love Lane. Most egregiously, in my view, it mislabels Montague Terrace and Pierrepont Place as alleys, although they are part of the regular street grid and as wide as other streets.

Addendum: I don’t care what the street sign says; it’s Hunt’s, not Hunts, Lane. That is, unless you can show me that it was named for someone whose name was “Hunts”, or it was called that because someone used to hunt there. I’m a fanatic about apostrophes.

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  • Karl Junkersfeld


    Those of us who know the Height’s well will also suffer individuals who from outside the neighborhood who attempt to identify it. Truly, there is no substitute for living here for numerous years and walking around on a daily basis.

    For example, yesterday I was walking over the Brooklyn Bridge and joined a large group Onion Tour of the Bridge on its way to Brooklyn Heights. The tour guide was very intelligent but once he got to the Heights made numerous mistakes in identifying different locations. It drove me nuts and took all of my self constraint to keep my “know it all” mouth shut.

    Little things, like someone asked why their was a bronze relief of Lincoln next to Beecher’s statue in the courtyard of Plymouth Church and he said “it was because of his sympathy for abolition”. Period. Many of us in Heights know that President Lincoln visited Plymouth Church twice and was initially suppose to give his famous Cooper Union speech at Plymouth Church. One famous line was:


    This is just one error of many. I could go on about Whitman errors and dates etc but I’ll refrain.

  • Jeremy

    In the US, possessive place names with the apostrophe are highly discouraged. (google the usgs website for the FAQ.) Although even if the original reason was policy (it’s not very democratic to show personal ownership of cities, streets, etc.), I guess most Americans these days wouldn’t know the difference. Anyone know of any NYC streets that include the apostrophe?

  • Claude Scales

    I can’t think of any streets here that are named in possessive form, other than this one (if, indeed, it is). Streets that are given persons’ names are just given the name without a possessive “s” (e.g. DeKalb Avenue, Jane Street). If we’re so keen on being democratic, isn’t this the way to go?

    I once wrote a post here in which I referred to “Governor’s Island”, and was informed that it’s always been spelled without an apostrophe. I corrected my post, and justified this in my mind by hypothesizing that it was named for a plurality of governors.