10. The Holland Tunnel rotary replaced the St. John’s Park Freight Depot

St. John's Park on a sunny day.
St. John’s Park on a sunny day.

During the construction of the Holland Tunnel, St. John’s Park Freight Depot, the southern terminus of the Hudson River Railway Company, was demolished. In its place, bounded by Hudson, Laight, Beach, and Varick streets, stood a rotary and the exits from the tunnel.

Before the Hudson River Railway Company build the freight depot, though, the area of land on which they would work had a storied history. Once part of a plantation, the land later became the property of the English crown. The crown deeded the space to Trinity Church, which in turn built St. John’s Chapel. Trinity Church also developed St. John’s Park, the first park in New York City to become surrounded by townhouses. The neighborhood was known as St. John’s Park until the Hudson River Railway Company bought it to build the freight depot. Today, the rotary space is still known as St. John’s Park, but it is not actually part of the park system and is inaccessible to the public.

Next, check out the Top 10 Secrets of the Lincoln Tunnel and 5 things we can blame on Robert Moses.