What’s in a name? Plenty when it comes to Port St. Lucie

Thanksgiving Avenue and Best Street signs
The corner of Thanksgiving Avenue and Best Street is a constant reminder the holidays are never far away. Whitney Joseph

As a relative newcomer to Port St. Lucie, I’ve come to thoroughly enjoy the quirks and peculiarities that help make our city among the fastest growing in the state.

For instance, did you know that there is no port in Port St. Lucie? There were plans for one but the General Development Corporation, which bought up the land in the 1950s with the expectation of building a port, went bankrupt before construction could be completed.

GDC bought the River Park Development and 40,000 acres of land along the banks of the St. Lucie River’s North Fork for $5 in 1958. By 1961, the city was officially incorporated. With incorporation came the need for roads. And with the need for roads came the need to name them. 

As has been pointed out by Sharon J Sanford at floridasmart.com: “Spell check wasn’t around until the ’70s, and Port St. Lucie contains a handful of misspelled street names, like Southwest Calender Street, Southwest Amethist Terrace and Southeast Chello Lane.” 

One account claims the roads were all designated within a day. And, as the Port St. Lucie Historical Society has noted, “When GDC was laying out the initial 80-square miles or so of the city, planners were faced with naming hundreds [thousands?] of streets, mostly only a few blocks long.”

Some came from GDC employees or family members. Others were drawn from a glossary of street names created for that purpose. I’ve encountered both whimsical and charming titles during my travels, some of which I’ll share below. 

Among the seasonal names are Thanksgiving Avenue, Christmas Terrace, Mistletoe Street SE, Nativity Terrace SE, SE Faith Terrace and of course, SE Holiday Road. 

Plenty of stars shine here, as well, including Starlite Cove, Starlake Court, W. Star Avenue, Starman Avenue, Starflower Avenue, Stargrass Avenue and Starfish Avenue. There’s also Blue Star Highway. In keeping with the galactic theme, there is Constellation Street SW, Cosmo Court NW, Comet Terrace SW, SE Pisces Terrace, Virgo Court NW and SE Leo Lane, among others.

Then there are the tributes to our nearest star: the sun. We have Sunset Place SW, Sunview Way, Sunglow Street SW, Sun Court SW, Sunflower Street, Sun Terrace Circle NW, Sundance Trail, Sunshine Avenue, NW Sunnydale Lane and Sunnybrook Terrace.

Being a coastal community, we logically have many sea-bearing street names, like Seagrass Avenue, Seahouse Drive, Seamist Street, Seafury Lane, SE Seabreeze Lane and SE Seashore Lane, as well as Ocean Lane and Flounder Lane.

The city has its affable arteries, such as Friendly Circle NW and Friendship Street SE, as well as NW Carefree Street and Leisure Lane SW. The founders showed off their philosophical, artistic and literary inclinations, too, with SE Shakespeare Avenue, Vivaldi Court, Thoreau Terrace, Sinbad Avenue SE, Sir Lancelot Drive SE and SE Voltair Terrace. The city council did vote to fix misspelled signs in 2016. But not Voltair, which was presumably named after Voltaire: the 18th-century French philosopher with an “e” at the end of his name.

There are also some silly names of the vegetable variety, ranging from Escarole Street to Romaine Lane to Carrot Street. Yum. For those with an interest in nature, there are Ladybug Drive SW, Lamb Avenue SW, Kitty Hawk Court and Leaping Frog Way NE. Drivers hoping for something racier have Mach One Drive, SE Wheeling Lane, SE Pace Drive, SE Triumph Road and SE Victory Avenue.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this romp along the roads of Port St. Lucie. I know I’m constantly amused by how creative PSL’s founders were when naming our streets and thoroughfares.






Whitney Joseph

Reach Whitney Joseph

See the original article in print publication

Feb. 21, 2024

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