Cherry Street once extended along its present path from Franklin Square, at the intersection of Pearl and Dover Streets, through to the waterfront at East Street. The section between Franklin Square and Catherine Street was closed for the construction of the Alfred E. Smith Houses project which was completed in 1953.
Cherry Street at Franklin Square was the site of the first executive mansion of the United States. George Washington lived at Number 3 Cherry Street in a spacious colonial style house in 1789 and 1790, his first year as President. A support of the Brooklyn Bridge now stands where Washington’s house once stood. The house was torn down in 1856 after falling into disrepair.
A large grove of cherry trees grew in the area of Cherry Street, and the street takes its name from these trees.
Hollyer, Samuel. 1901. George Washington’s house, Cherry Street, N.Y.C., 1788. [engraving] Digital image retrieved from the NYPL Digital Gallery June 15, 2011. http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?805339
New York City. “Smith, Alfred E. Houses” Accessed June 15, 2011 http://www.nyc.gov/html/nycha/html/developments/mansmith.shtml
Pritchard, Evan T. 2007. Native New Yorkers: the legacy of the Algonquin people of New York. San Francisco: Council Oak Books. p. 74