Berkley Street


Berkley Street, originally named Berkeley Street, carries a rich historical legacy in Camden, New Jersey. Its designation honors Lord Berkeley, one of the proprietors of the colony of New Jersey from 1664 to 1674, alongside Sir George Carteret. The street’s naming reflects the colonial-era connections between the region and its English proprietors.

During its early layout, Berkley Street comprised two distinct segments. The section east of Broadway was initially known as Hamilton Street, paying tribute to Hamilton Beckett, the son of Henry and Mary Beckett from London, England. The Beckett family held significant land ownership in the area, spanning from Royden to Line Street and from West to Second Street. However, to avoid potential confusion, particularly with other streets bearing similar names, the designation of Hamilton Street was eventually phased out in 1882, leading to the adoption of the unified name Berkley Street for the entire thoroughfare.

The historical importance of Berkley Street expanded with the arrival of the Pennsylvania Railroad. In 1902, the railroad company established a series of freight sheds along South Second Street at the Berkley Street junction. This infrastructure development played a pivotal role in facilitating trade, transportation, and industrial growth in the surrounding area, contributing to Camden’s economic vitality.

However, the landscape of Berkley Street underwent significant transformation in the urban renewal efforts of the 1970s. As part of these initiatives, the 200 Block of Berkley Street, along with neighboring blocks west of South 3rd Street and south of Mickle Street, underwent clearance. This clearance aimed to make way for modern housing developments that could better accommodate the evolving needs of the community. Notable among these developments were the establishment of the Royal Court Townhomes and the construction of the Mickle Tower apartment building. These projects reshaped the architectural fabric of the neighborhood and played a role in shaping its contemporary urban character.


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