Pearl Street (Manhattan)

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Fraunces Tavern, at Pearl (left) and Broad Streets

Pearl Street is a street in the southern section of the New York City borough of Manhattan, running northeast from Battery Park to the Brooklyn Bridge (with an interruption at Fulton Street, where Pearl Street's alignment west of Fulton Street shifts one block south of its alignment east of Fulton Street), then turning west and terminating at Centre Street.

The name Pearl Street is an English translation of the Dutch Parelstraat (written as Paerlstraet around 1660). This street, visible on the Castello Plan along the eastern shore of New Amsterdam, was named for the many oysters found in the river. During the British years, Pearl Street was known as (Great) Queen Street. The "Great" was used often to differentiate from (Little) Queen Street, which in 1784 became Cedar Street.

Pearl Street generally marked the original eastern shoreline of the lower part of Manhattan Island, until the latter half of the 18th century when landfill over the course of several hundred years has extended the shoreline roughly 700–900 feet (200-300m) further into the East River, first to Water Street and later to Front Street.

In the mid-1650s a three-story tavern near what is now 73 Pearl Street became the city's first City Hall.[1] Thomas Edison's first power plant, Pearl Street Station, was located here. The IRT Third Avenue elevated railway also ran above Pearl Street until 1950. New York Telephone put up a large administrative building at 375 Pearl on the north side of the Street, east of the Brooklyn Bridge, in the 1970s.

In 2014, playwright and theater artist Toni Schlesinger's "The Mystery of Pearl Street"—about the 1997 disappearance of artists Camden Sylvia and Michael Sullivan from their Pearl Street apartment following a dispute with their landlord[2]—debuted at Dixon Place theater.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Design Commission - City Hall Pre-Visit Guide". Archived from the original on 3 May 2010. 
  2. ^ Newman, Andy (February 11, 1999). "Police Search of Building Where Missing Couple Lived Is Fruitless". New York Times. New York. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Bing / Google

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