Nosy Neighbor: Is There a Moore Street?

A friend asked last night if there was a Moore Street in Tribeca, or just a North Moore Street, and I froze up, embarrassed I didn’t know. Am I just a hopeless Tribeca newbie and everyone else knows the answer? —W.

There is indeed a Moore Street, but not in Tribeca. It’s down near the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, running one block between Water and Pearl. (Good luck finding it online; Google, in its infinite wisdom, will direct you to N. Moore.)

The question for a while was whether the “N.” on “N. Moore” street signs referred to “North” or to “Nathaniel.” In 1984, the New York Times dug into the matter, noting that “recently a number of city maps and documents identified it as Nathaniel Moore. The Board of Estimate even approved resolutions using the name Nathaniel.” You can read the whole article, or I can save you the time and just say that it’s North, not Nathaniel. Also, Moore Street appears to have been named for Benjamin Moore, “Episcopal Bishop of New York, rector of Trinity Church, president of Kings College and—in its reincarnation—Columbia College. He was the father of Clement Clarke (‘Twas the Night Before Christmas) Moore. And he was 41 years old when the street was named.”

That’s Moore Street pictured below. Not much of a destination, is it? According to the Times, it “used to run to the East River, but has been truncated in recent years.”

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  1. For what it’s worth: According to Henry Moscow’s “The Street Book”, Moore Street was originally “Moor Street, off which ships anchored in the East River. The custom house stood nearby and a pier was built in front of it.”

  2. I cannot express how satisfying it is to finally know. Thanks, Tribeca Citizen!

  3. John Moore’s son Stephen was the only patriot in the family. He sold part of his family’s land on the Hudson called West Point to the US in 1790 (deal closed by Alexander Hamilton).