This Williamsburg playground shares its name with Roebling Street, whose southern end lies at the playground’s northeastern corner, where it intersects with the northern end of Lee Avenue. Known from 1850 to 1885 as Sixth Street, Roebling Street was renamed in 1885 in honor of John Augustus Roebling (1803-1869), designer of the Brooklyn Bridge. Born in Muhlhausen, Prussia, Roebling graduated from the Polytechnic School in Berlin before going on to work for the Prussian government. In 1831, he immigrated to the United States, where he helped found a small Prussian colony near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There, in 1836, he married Johanna Herting, the daughter of another immigrant from Muhlhausen. The two had nine children. In 1837, after farming for several years, Roebling began work as a civil engineer in Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania.
While working in Harrisburg, Roebling designed and developed his own method for stranding and weaving wire cables. In 1848, he m