Richards Street

Richards Street was named after Col. Daniel Richards. Richards was a visionary developer who set Red Hook on the path to becoming one of the world's major commercial ports.

He moved to Brooklyn from upstate New York after seeing the powerful economic effects resulting from the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825. Those inspired him to create Atlantic Dock, a massive, man-made harbor with warehouses and grain elevators that could handle products coming down the Erie Canal.

Atlantic Dock opened in the 1840s and triggered massive port developments and the urbanization of Red Hook.

Today's Atlantic Basin is a small, modernized remnant of the former grandeur of Atlantic Dock.

Richards lost control of Atlantic Docks when James Stranahan quietly bought a majority share. Richards also was the first person to conceive of a Gowanus Canal and promote the concept.

The Gowanus Canal took another 15 years to build. Prior to creating Atlantic Dock, Richards formed the Red Hook Building Company in the hopes of making an urban development by acquiring a large tract of land from the Van Dyke brothers. The company folded in 1840, and he went on to create Atlantic Dock which led to the urbanization he intended with the Red Hook Building Company.

Delavan Street is named after Daniel Richards' son Delavan Richards.

Item Relations

This Item Relation Item: Delavan Street
This Item is related to Item: Red Hook Lane: Heritage Trail
Item: Red Hook Building Company, 1838 is related to This Item



  • Dikeman, J. The Brooklyn Compendium, Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.). Common Council. 1870. (accessed 2016)

    Sherman, Herman. Red Hook Place-Names. Graduate Thesis, Brooklyn College, 1965.

    A Preservation Plan for Red Hook, Brooklyn (accessed 2016)

    Joseph Alexiou, Gowanus, Brooklyn’s Curious Canal, NYU Press, 2015

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