Day 1260

From Poplar to Polar

June 12th, 2015

This chain-link fence topped with barbed wire is the barrier between the gated community of Sea Gate (behind the fence) and the public streets of Coney Island. As you can see if you zoom in on the street signs or look at a map, Sea Gate's Poplar Avenue loses a P when it reaches the edge of the neighborhood; it turns into Polar Street on the public side of the fence.

It looks like the entire street was once Poplar, according to maps from 1920 and 1943. This 1949 map is the earliest one I've seen in which Polar makes an appearance. The dashed lines of the 1943 map suggest that the whole street was formerly part of Sea Gate; if that's true, perhaps the eastern portion became Polar when it was excised from the neighborhood and made public.

(According to the NY Times, the red brick structure above is Sea Gate's "one true apartment building".)

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