History of NYC (Fruit) Streets: Cranberry, Orange and Pineapple Streets in Brooklyn

Cranberry Street Sign-Brooklyn Heights Historic District-NYC-Fruit Streets

Glancing up in a certain area in Brooklyn, the streets seem to become an orchard, with the street signs as plants. Welcome to the fruit streets of Brooklyn Heights, where Cranberry, Orange and Pineapple Streets run parallel to each other to form an unlikely urban cornucopia.

According to NYC Parks, the streets received their names in the nineteenth century from local resident Lady Middagh, a descendant of one of the earliest families to settle in the area. At the time, the streets were named after aristocratic families that lived on them (much like Christopher Street was). Lady Middagh found this “pretentious,” and her solution was to remove the original street signs and put up her own. The city took them down, but eventually relented to Lady Middagh’s persistence. (Interestingly, she left Middagh Street alone and it still exists today, running parallel to the fruit streets–so much for a crusade against pretentiousness!) Other aristocratic streets that survived Lady Middagh’s attack include Hicks, Pierrepont and Remsen. 

Pineapple Street Sign-Brooklyn Heights Historic District-NYC-Fruit Streets

Orange Street Sign-Brooklyn Heights Historic District-NYC-Fruit Streets

The New York Times offers another, less exciting explanation. The Hicks brothers, another of the area’s aristocratic families, sold fruit and named the streets after their activities.

Brooklyn Heights Historic District-NYC-Fruit Streets Sitting Area-Park

At the end of the streets is the Fruit Street Sitting Area named for its surrounding tropical bounty, which connects Columbia Heights to Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

Cranberry Street in particular gained fame as the location of the 1987 film Moonstruck, starring Cher and a young Nicolas Cage. Cher’s Loretta lived at 19 Cranberry Street. The street also appeared in Three Days of the Condor and more recently, Remember Me starring Robert Pattinson. Perhaps Lady Middagh would be impressed by the number of movie stars gracing the area today.

moonstruck-cher-scene-brooklyn-fruit-street-history-nyc-untapped-cranberryA shot of 19 Cranberry Street, home of Cher’s character Loretta, in Moonstruck. Source: otsoNY.

Brooklyn Heights Historic District-NYC-Fruit Streets-002The historic brownstone on the corner of Cranberry and Willow Streets was sold in 2008 for $4 million. 

Read more from our History of Streets columnGet in touch with the author @catku.

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