Birthplace of Whitman’s ‘Leaves Of Grass,’ Cranberry & Fulton, 1949

This sketch of the “Birthplace of Walt Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass'” depicts the corner of Cranberry & Fulton streets (which is now along Cadman Plaza West heading to Old Fulton Street) dated September 11, 1949. It is signed by Josephine Barry.

Legend has it that the red brick print shop in Brooklyn Heights where Walt Whitman set the type for the first edition of “Leaves” in 1855—torn down years ago to build the Whitman Close co-ops at 75 Henry Street—was salvaged, with bricks embedded in the ground around a planter near the A train stop on Cadman Plaza West.

(Sketch: Museum of the City of New York/Planter: McBrooklyn)

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  • AEB


  • Andrew Porter

    That “planter” was actually a wading fountain for children, which apparently never worked, and was turned off shortly after being open a few months. It tied in with the small children’s playground just to the south, surrounded on the south and west by the townhouses—you can see it behind the tree in the photo.

  • nabeguy

    Great find, Chuck. Given what came afterwards, the date of the sketch is kind of ironic.

  • Diane

    My family owned & operated a restaurant at the corner of Cranberry & Fulton at the turn of the century, so I was thrilled to find this picture. Would it be at this corner? What is at this location now? What would have been across the street?