This trivium (Latin for a place where three roads meet) at the juncture of Cabrini Boulevard, Pinehurst Avenue, and West 187th Street is named for Dr. Charles V. Paterno (1877-1946), who was largely responsible for the residential development of this section of Fort Washington. The Paterno family arrived in New York from southern Italy and became involved in apartment house construction. Charles trained as a medical doctor, but after his father's death in 1899, became an active builder throughout Manhattan.
In 1905 Paterno purchased land along the Hudson River, south of 187th Street, and constructed a grand mansion known as "Paterno's Castle." He acquired additional land in the 1920s, on which he erected the picturesque English Tudor-style Hudson View Gardens complex in 1923-24, one of New York City's earliest middle-class cooperatives. In 1938-39, after moving to Connecticut, Paterno replaced the castle with the Castle Village apartment complex. This series of five buildings was the first in America to employ the progressive European idea of setting tall residential towers in a park-like setting.
In the spring of 2000, Paterno Trivium became a Greenstreet. The Greenstreets program, started in 1986, is a collaboration between NYC Parks and the NYC Department of Transportation that aims to transform paved street properties such as triangles and malls into greenspaces.