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Thread: Street names in Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Denver...

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    Cyburbian drucee's avatar
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    Street names in Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Denver...

    I find it to be an uncanny coincidence that in at least five separate cities (Philadelphia, Denver, Cincinnati, Atlanta IL, Urbana IL) streets named Vine and Race, and Walnut are located downtown and in very close proximity to each other. What's the reason behind this? My only guess is that all of these places were originally settled by Philadelphia natives.

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    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by drucee View post
    I find it to be an uncanny coincidence that in at least five separate cities (Philadelphia, Denver, Cincinnati, Atlanta IL, Urbana IL) streets named Vine and Race, and Walnut are located downtown and in very close proximity to each other. What's the reason behind this? My only guess is that all of these places were originally settled by Philadelphia natives.
    They are mostly trees types.

    From Wikipedia: "Groups of streets in one area are sometimes named using a particular theme. A well-known example is in Philadelphia, where the major east-west streets in William Penn's original plan for the city carry the names of trees: from north to south, these were Vine, Sassafras, Mulberry, Market (not a tree), Chestnut, Walnut, Locust, Spruce, Pine. (Sassafras and Mulberry have since been renamed to Race and Arch.)"

    A "vine" is a plant and a "race" can be defined as a ginger root. Just a guess.

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    Race Street in Philly was renamed because they used to do actual horse racing on the street.

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    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DoctorK16 View post
    Race Street in Philly was renamed because they used to do actual horse racing on the street.
    And the Chinatown arch is just north of Arch Street.

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    Cyburbian iamme's avatar
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    There are usually some interesting stories and history as to why certain streets are named what they are. For Milwaukee there is a book that tells about all of the streets and their origin and history. I've looked it over before for my own neighborhood and it's pretty cool.

    http://www.amazon.com/Milwaukee-Stre.../dp/0964020440

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    Cyburbian
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    A race is also a waterway that was often used for milling purposes. The yare typically made of wood, but miners would dig them occassionally. I know of several p\subdivisions and streets that have the word race in them because of the traditional use of a race for milling, irrigation, etc.

    In denver, isn't race st close to DU? I think my in laws lived on that street when my brother in law was going to school.

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    Willaim Penn was a Quaker and thought that naming the streets after people was immodest. He had the east-west streets named after trees and the north-south streets numbered. The exceptions were High Street (now Market Street and Broad Street). These were typical names of main streets in England. Race Street was originally Sassafrass Street (I think). Since Philadelphia was one of the first cities in the colonies designed in a regular grid pattern, I think that many later cities copied its lead and used some of the same name too.

    Also Pennsylvania was not named for William Penn. He wanted the colony to be called New Wales. King Charles II insisted on calling Pennsylvania (translated, Penn's woods) to honor William Penn's father who was an admiral in the Royal Navy.

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    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    West Chester, PA uses a very similar naming pattern to Philly. Trees, with High and Gay as the main crossroads.

    Come in High, leave Gay.

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    In Southern Ontario, Dundas seems to be a very common name for streets in the City Centre. What is also amazing is that most run East-West!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    St. Louis and Philly have a lot of street names in common as well:

    Market
    Spruce
    Walnut
    Chestnut
    Locust
    Pine
    ST. LOUIS: The City is Back. Back the City.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian drucee's avatar
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    I quite like Vancouver's downtown street names, which have a vaguely Anglo-but-exotic quality to them: Cordova, Dunsmuir, Robson, Helmcken, Davie, Denman, Cardero, Jervis, Bute, Haro, Burrard, Homer.

    Also, I've been told that Winnipeg is the largest North American city without any numbered streets. Is this true?

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