Greenridge, Staten Island (History)

Greenridge is a name sometimes used to denote the western part of Eltingville, a neighborhood on Staten Island’s South Shore.

The area’s earliest settlers were French Huguenots, who are also responsible for another South Shore neighborhood not far away being named Huguenot. TheDutch called it Kleine Kill, or Little Creek, and the British called it Fresh Kills, into which Richmond Creek, which forms its western boundary, empties. The area appears to have received its present name (sometimes spelled as two words) about 1876.

In 1921, a highly popular restaurant and amusement place resembling today’s Chuck E. Cheese’s opened at the northwest corner of Arthur Kill Road and Richmond Avenue. Known as Al Deppe’s, it was forced out of business in the late 1960s when its property was condemned to make way for the proposed Richmond Parkway. However, due to intense opposition — much of it from environmental activists — the section of the parkway that would have passed over the land on which the establishment stood ended up never actually being built. Only the section of the parkway south and east of this point was constructed; overlaying a pre-existing thoroughfare named Drumgoole Boulevard (in honor of the Roman Catholic priest who founded an orphanage in Pleasant Plains), it opened in the autumn of 1972.

Greenridge has seen much development — a great deal of it commercial — in recent decades, including the construction of a public transit center, the Eltingville Transit Center, in the early 2000s. Many passengers wait there each weekday morning for express buses that take them to their jobs in downtown or midtown Manhattan.