In the late 19th century, Bloomingdale Road was straightened and made part of the real Broadway from 131st and 133th Streets in Harlem, New York.
The remaining seven blocks of Bloomingdale Road didn’t fit anywhere, so it was given the moniker Old Broadway and allowed to remain on the map.
“Why the few blocks of Old Broadway were left no one knows exactly, but probably because the wiping out of the thoroughfare, with many of its old houses, would have entailed unnecessary hardship upon the residents,” explains a 1912 New York Times article.
Vestiges of rural Manhattan remained through the 1930s. “For nearly a block, on the west, huge signs hide a bit of raised, rocky ground — pasture, no doubt, for goats in days gone by,” states another Times piece from 1930.