NYC Streets

Alleys and Courts

New York once had many more residential alleys and courts. An alley is a narrow lane or driveway running into the interior--and sometimes all the way through--a block. A residential alley might serve a row of small houses, such as the existing Henderson Place, or a long tenement with multiple entrances. A court was created when property owners built a second row of houses in their rear yards. It might be reached by walking through the buildings in front or by a separate walkway, as with the existing Grove Court. Courts and alleys cannot always be identified by their names. Some alleys were called courts, lanes or mews; and both alleys and courts were called places, terraces, or rows. See Places, Rows and Terraces.

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