2. Old Mayors of NYC in the Bronx
23De Reimer, Edson, Grace, Ely, Wickham, and Gunther Avenues in the Bronx are all named after former New York Mayors. Image via Mapbox
McNamara also found the northern half of Wakefield in the Bronx was littered with street names honoring old mayors of New York. From De Reimer Avenue west to Gunther Avenue, with the exceptions of Baychester and Bruner Avenues, six former mayors ranging from 1700 to 1886 have their names on street signs. Only William R. Grace served more than two years, as he sat in office for two non-consecutive terms in the 1880’s and was best known for his battles against Tammany Hall.
Edson Avenue also has a brief connection to the old Democratic Party political machine. Before officially honoring Franklin Edson, mayor of New York from 1883-1884, the street was planned to be named Bracken Avenue, according to McNamara. Henry Bracken was a prominent member of Tammany Hall in this area of the Bronx, and some old maps include his name for the street instead of Franklin Edson’s. This fire insurance map from 1897 shows Bracken Avenue in place of Edson Avenue, three blocks west of Wilder Avenue.
Image from New York Public Library.