Charleston has seen much evolution in both its physical redevelopment as a town and the literal reincarnations of its name.
In the 1700’s, Charleston was known as Androvetteville or Androvettetown, so called after the Androvette family that first settled the area. Years later, the town adopted the name Kreischerville after Balthazar Kreischer, owner of a brick factory that operated between 1854 – 1927. In what was likely a backlash response against the Germans during World War I, Kreischerville was renamed Charleston and has been known as such ever since.
Charleston lies on the south shore along the Arthur Kill between Sandy Ground and Tottenville and is home to Clay Pit Ponds State Park, a 260-acre nature preserve offering educational and recreational activities like nature hikes and birdwatching. A site of substantial commercial development over the past decade, Charleston continues to grow as a town. A newly-approved development project will transform a 65-acre property owned by the city into a mix of commercial and public spaces. The project will roll out in two phases, the first, which is scheduled to be completed in the next few years, would consist of a retail center, a public library and a public park; the second, which the city expects to be completed by 2020, would add more retail to the site, as well as senior housing and a K-8 public school.
Charleston is perhaps among the least populated areas on Staten Island. Residential development in the area has been sparse and slow over the years, and Charleston’s homes, located next to the Outerbridge Crossing, are confined to a small number of elegantly renovated houses, as well as the 200 or so homes within the The Tides, a senior waterfront community. These homes offer convenient access to the West Shore Expressway and the popular South Shore Golf Course, which is only a short distance away. In January of 2011, the Charleston bus depot opened, helping expand bus service into Staten Island.
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