7. Chelsea Piers Used to Be the Site of 13th Avenue
Former 13th Avenue being converted into a new part of Hudson River Park
On April 12, 1837, New York City’s 13th Avenue was created after New York State Legislature passed an act to “establish a permanent exterior street in the city of New-York along the easterly shore of the North, or Hudson’s River.” The avenue was to extend from West 11th Street all the way up to 135th Street in Harlem and constructed out of excavated land from the north of the city in upper Manhattan.
But even though the avenue was established through a state act, construction never really got anywhere. At its peak, it extended from W 11th Street up to only W 25th Street, never making it further than Chelsea. By 1874, it was reported by the New York Times that the lower regions of the avenue were a “dreary waste” home mostly to lumber yards, saloons, and city dumps.
At the turn of the 20th century, New York City began to focus more on improving the conditions of its ports instead of worrying about getting a whole other avenue built. Today, only a single block remains of 13th Ave, known as Gansevoort Peninsula where there’s a building belonging to the city’s sanitation department. It is the city’s shortest avenue.
Remnants of 13th Ave (street designation in red added in an edit by Untapped Cities). Image via Google Maps
Want to know more? Check out our Daily What?! 13th Avenue is the Shortest Numbered Avenue in Manhattan