NYC Honorary Street Names


Pierre Toussaint Boulevard (Brooklyn)
Present name:Church Avenue
Location:Between Nostrand Avenue and Coney Island Avenue
Honoree: Pierre Toussaint (1766-1853), born a slave in Haiti, was brought to New York by his owners in 1787. Trained as a hairdresser, he became so successful that he was able to purchase his freedom and that of his wife. They opened their home to orphan children, and also organized a credit bureau and employment agency. During a yellow fever epidemic in New York, he cared for sick and dying people who had been abandoned. After his death, he was interred at Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Mulberry Street. In 1989, Cardinal O’Connor had his remains transferred to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in midtown Manhattan, where he is the only lay person entombed with the former Cardinal-Archbishops of New York. In 1997, Pope John Paul II declared Toussaint ‘Venerable,’ placing him on the path to becoming North America’s first black saint. (Eugene)

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