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Chronology of a Nineteenth Century Manhattan Industrial Corner

February 8, 2014

The old fire insurance maps were the most instrumental in cracking the mystery of what was what and where. Most of them from 1852 to the early 20th century can be found at these two sites:

1852 The Dripps map ( is the first to show building outlines, but everything is in gray, so there are no indications of what they are made of.

This is the only one to show the Old Brewery, which was bought and then torn down and replaced by the new Mission that year. We see the two distinct buildings (№59 and 61 Cross) that together narrow toward the back (as reported,, and the room in the back, which was adjacent to “Murderer’s Alley”, was called “Den of Thieves”. The one on the left is L shaped, then is shorter than the one on the right, which is a whole rectangle).
You can see this in this drawing, along with №63-69, and the big №24 Orange behind them)
(This one must have been in the very last days of the Brewery. Notice, the wooden Coal Yard building is gone, in addition to all the window panes being broken.
Actually, I see now from the book The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld By Herbert Asbury, p.13, which the above blog link is referencing, that there were actually two “Murderer’s Alley”s; this outside one, I refer to, which was Donovan’s Lane, and also a sort of hallway or “passageway” inside the Old Brewery itself. They’ve often become confused, especially since the descriptions of the inside one call it an “alley” way “around” the building. It at first gave me the befuddled impression the Den of Thieves room was accessed only from outside the building.
So from this map, it looks like Donovan’s Lane never connected to the back of the brewery. ⦅Which is what I had thought from reading about it “leading” to the back of it⦆. The buildings on Pearl and Orange converge in a way that cut it off in a couple of places; particularly the rear buildings and the long №16 Orange, and there are walls and fences as well. Possible connections did open up as the properties in between changed over the years, but it would be the Mission by that time).

“Pirnies Distillery” is written across that side of Cross Street starting in front of the Brewery (№59-61), all the way to the corner. I figured it couldn’t refer to the Old Brewery, which was a “tenement” by that time, and then passing hands to the Mission, and it must refer to №65, which we will soon see labeled as another brewery. (This confirmed in comment).
№63 and №65 again always looked like twin buildings in the older drawings they appear in, and in this map, they appear to have an “x” or something on the common wall (not sure what this is; not seeing it elsewhere), while 63 looks like it’s not touching the brewery!
(This might explain that one pre-“Mission” photo of the Brewery shown above, where you see a three story federal building behind the brewery, which is different from the two story №63. As I had pointed out, other drawings make №63ff look like they were around the corner or behind the brewery[№61], but this looks clearly like a different building, and truly behind №61. Apparently, you’re looking through a space between №61 and №63).

24 Orange (itself drawn as one undivided unit filling its lot) is shown as separate from, though abutting 65 Cross, and 22 Orange rear. (So they are still connected, just like the Old Brewery was obviously two buildings made into one, but still shown as two).,RUMSEY~8~1~3018~90020002,449,122,226,421,1217,685,3178,9873,7253,13473,1

You also see the clear space to the left of the brewery, as depicted in the drawing in the link. This would be the coal yard.

(The only other map to show the Old Brewery was the one showing the outline of the NY County Courthouse over the area, but it’s incomplete. I don’t know where that site got that from. It’s on David Bellel’s photobucket, and he’s a co-author of Lower East Side (Then & Now). Probably something he or someone drew based on Dripps, just to show the relative location of everything. It only shows the buildings in the immediate Five Points intersection; the rest of the lots on the streets are blank. As mentioned in the above comment, №24 Orange looks like an empty lot, as does №69 Cross adjacent to it. And it only shows half of the Brewery (№59, the western or right part)! №61 (the eastern/left half) appears as a regular building like the ones to the east of it).

1853 (Perris)

One L shaped complex occupying the total lot of 24 Orange and the front portion of 65 Cross. Also the wing at the back of the 22 Orange lot. The whole thing is colored green, apparently [map is very faded] representing an industrial building, which has “special hazards” or is “specially hazardous”. The front portion of 24 has an “x” indicating wood frame construction, and the rest has dots, indicating brick. One dot, representing “First class store or dwelling”. (No name for it is marked anywhere).
Walls with openings separate the four different sections shown as separate units: The shorter 24 Orange front, the rear 80 or so feet (adjacent to 67-71 Cross), and the wings on the other two lots.
(For regular buildings, pink is brick, yellow is wood, gray is stone, and blue is steel. And “SC” indicates “Superior Construction”, meaning Type 1, which would come about soon).

The new “Mission House and Methodist Church”, is in place at №59-61, occupying only the front; everything in the rear (the whole triangular plot) has been cleared.
№63 has these two narrow wooden industrial structures behind it, with a space in the middle (most likely stables), and a small brick structure all the way in the rear.
№65 rear is mostly clear, except for a small square wood building in the very rear (next to the one on 63), and a tiny brick building behind 18 Orange, and touching one of the wooden things behind №63. An additional detached wooden structure is in the №18 lot itself, between the front and rear buildings.

Block 166:
Looks like 149-57 Anthony is cleared for the House of Industry Building on corner (№9 Little Water in “Cow’s Bay” dead end still seems to be there. Hard to tell if lots are white or yellow. №9 still has hollow dot indicating building with store; other lots totally empty).

1857 (1, marked “1857-62”)

New street names in place.
Rear additions added to the new Mission.
The original wooden 26 Baxter (which appeared in the Catlin drawing on the left edge) now cleared, and Worth widened along Paradise Park.
Two small green square structures in the court; one against №24 and the other (with an “x” indicating frame construction) in the №20 rear lot. —In addition to the one in the №18 lot. These were probably “privies”. (Which were essentially outhouses —or at least sinks. There was no water in many buildings).

An enclosed white space extends from the back of №22, alongside №24, and ends at the green structure; and another one on the №20 lot between the front building and the green structure, behind which is some sort of open wooden structure (marked with dotted lines), that abuts the rear building.

Block 166:
House of Industry of 153-157 Worth in place. Corner to Cow’s Bay still clear, and №9 (Little Water becomes Mission Place) clearly white, but still has dot(?)

Large new 36-40 Baxter tenement row appears. Four 5 story buildings (36, 36½, 38 and 40) that appear in several drawings, and the “Dens of Death” photo background.

1857 (2 “1857” only, but newer than the previous one; contains pasted-on additions)

Two wooden structures behind 63 cleared.
New 3 story brick 26 Baxter built, with truncated corner to conform to the extension of Worth, but block #161, east of the intersection still intact (buildings still there, etc).
New 4 story brick buildings at 67 and 69 Park (№71 in the midst of this row is still wooden).
№63 goes from pink to green, while 65/24/22 complex goes from green to pink, and labeled “Manhattan Brewery” (This is actually a paste-on. The wooden №24 front portion now yellow, 2 stories; both rear buildings, 3 stories; and 65 Park 2 stories; all four shown again with the openings between bounding walls).

Block 165:
88-90 Park go green.
Block 166:
House of Industry extends to corner and replaces all but 17 and 19 Mission Place in Cow’s Bay. (This is also a paste-on. There was a smaller square, plain masonry two story extension shown in one drawing, which is probably what was here at this time, and apparently only there for a very short time. The one that extends to Mission place, taking the angled shape of the corner, was the ornate Victorian building shown in a later photo).

1867 Perris-Browne ( says “Bromley, 1902”, which I knew could not be correct. Shows all the old wooden structures. And definitely Perris’ style. Bromley’s first map was in 1879).

[Edit: see comment in main article. This map also contains pasted on edits from somewhere between 1870 and 1875].

Block 160:

What was going on: At some point, twin houses 63 and 65 Park were replaced, with №65 permanently severed from 22/24. (Later pictures of 65 are clearly different from the old gable-roofed front from the earlier Mission/brewery drawings, which also had an enclosed front porch on the ground floor represented on the earlier maps, which is now also gone).
Here, there’s a single paste-on of the entire triangular lot of the new Mission-related properties, showing both 65 and 63 as purely rectangular new individual buildings.

The new 65 did not connect to the Manhattan Brewery complex like the old one. So likewise, a small piece previously connecting 65 and 22 (wooden in 1853, and always with a black bar along the №22 wall, likely a steam boiler shared by the buildings; see below) is also now gone, as is an interior brick wall not on all floors, on the left side of 63, represented by a dotted line. [Edit: 65 Mott has one of these, and it’s a ground floor hallway to the rear court. It turns out that this hallway in 63 was the actual entrance to the “Murder’s Alley” of the Brewery!]

In this edit, 63 is still separate from the Mission at 61, but the Mission has taken over part of its rear space.

Manhattan Brewery printed in arc starting from №20 (showing that that property was also apart of the distillery complex. This was not as evident before when “Manhattan Brewery” was written in the №24/65 perimeter only, though №20 did have full access to the court), and cut off after “Br” by Mission paste-on where the word continued into №65.

24 Baxter wooden front building has brick face [apparently] drawn on.
Small square structure on №18 lot gone.
71 Park gets brick building (last wooden structure on this corner of Park replaced).
New buildings built over coal yard Park St. entrance (though the yard would still be in the middle of the block’s rear space, accessed from Pearl St. for years to come).
Lots would be renumbered, so that these new buildings would now be 57-59 Park, and the entire Mission (encompassing the former 59-61) become 61 Park.

9-13 Baxter and other industrial class buildings are shown in normal green in copy I saw, though appear blue on HERB site version.

Dripps map dated 1867 does not show Worth going through. I had thought that was in 1859, but now I find it is really 1868-9. (Also thrown off by the edited 1867 map showing it going through).

Almost everything else looks pretty much the same as 1852 (hard to tell because, again, Dripps has only grayscales). The differences I see are the Mission house replacing the brewery (and it marked as such instead of “Pirnies Distillery”), and the House of Industry being in place.

Now we close a big gap that had been here. The online complete maps will jump to 1885 (and it took me time to find that one, so initially it jumped to 1891. Since I thought this previous map was from the early 60’s instead of late, I thought it was a 30 year gap! So much had changed, so I kept hunting down the intermediate years).
These next three [regular maps] are not online; had to go to (and sign up, basically) the NY Historical Society. (Books too big and brittle to photocopy a plate but for $15 per day, I was able to photograph them and 1867 with a phone).

1870 Perris-Browne.

Block 160:
22/24 complex the same (including interior connections of remaining 3 units), but labeled “Manhattan Distillery (again, in an arc starting from the №20 lot).
green structures, white spaces, etc. in court the same.
New 63 and 65 Park St.; 65 now abutting, but no longer internally connected to 24.
63 Park now becoming integrated with Mission. Large opening in wall between buildings (i.e. interior connection. Both buildings solid pink). 4 stories.
[A couple of rare real photos of the Mission show the new 63 as an extension of the Mission by three columns of windows to the left.]
№65 now green, 2 stories, three dots.
Black bar behind №20 and 22 rear in №65 lot (not touching anything). A pair of bars are listed in key as steam boilers, but a single bar not shown in this map. (Single bar shown as steam boiler in later map, so double bar is probably simply a double barreled boiler or something).
№18, 20 Baxter receive brick faces

Shows Worth going through (also on paste-on edits to 1867).
Block 161, now bisected:

23 Baxter is now on the corner and still wooden though triangle shaped. So it’s likely the old building cut in half, like the one in the Catlin drawing had been.

85 Park likewise sheared by Worth St. (Photo in Anbinder, p. 16) Blank triangle space to the left of it.

85-87 Park get brick faces (though this is a paste-on as well)

103-107 Park (including unmarked building between 101 and 103) brick; №101 wood
Old [wooden] 21 Mott (disproves 1861 dating of a photo)

Block 165 (the “Bend”):
№31½ Baxter becomes simply №31.
94 Park gets brick face

Block 166:
30 Baxter still old 2 story building
№34 (161 Worth) still old buildings
Cow Bay entirely de-mapped, buildings on west side (to 143 Worth) all cleared.
Old buildings still on Mission Place; Iron Works on corner of Park.

Ward 4:
Current 27 Madison (5 stories, colored green, 2 dots) replaces two smaller brick buildings.
5 story 59-63 New Bowery hotel in place (i.e. current building; sort of “sister” to 27 Madison; no longer a hotel. Think I saw it in 1867 also, but that may have been an add-on).

Since this map was only likely three years after the previous one, I found I had not closed the gap as much as I thought I would. (Most of the old wooden structures are still there).
Now, I was told of Bromley’s first map (1879) being at NYPL, but I found it shows only special buildings like the Mission and House of Industry, and the rest of the lots are marked but empty. (And this I’ve seen online anyway, though it’s tricky to find on the NYPL site, for some reason).
But looking in NYPL’s map catalog book, I find Perris also had (in addition to 1867), 1875 and 1884 maps showing Ward 6, and NYHS (which I had just come from, being there until it closed) has those.
This next gap is when all the more modern brick tenements appear in earnest.

1875 Perris

Block 160:
22/24 now also green (like 65 but still detached); 24 with 3 dots, 22 with large dot that looks like comma (probably printing error)
No business name marked This may be when the complex became a rookery (yet still with industrial hazards)
Green structure alongside 24 now with opening to white space connected to 22 front.
Other green structure (behind №20) gone
№20 now lined off from 22/24 court (probably a fence). It was at this point likely no longer apart of the 22/24 complex.
New brick rear building replaces wooden one at №20
67 Park is green (I believe it’s only that way for this map).
12 Baxter gets brick face
12½ rear wooden extension gets brick face on rear court
14 front gets brick building (rear was already brick)
18 cleared space between front and rear
steam boiler still behind 20/22 on 65 lot.
Mission still same shape
Part of 26 Baxter corner building with front on Park St. now distinguished as 73 Park, with its own store separate from Worth/Baxter portion of building.

Donovan’s Lane (now clearly printed as such) still open from Pearl, but looks like it’s cut off from Baxter St. (14 front and 16 rear touch corners. Though 14 does have a brick hallway to the court that was probably open. Since the Lane would later become associated with №14, that was most likely the exit).

Block 161:
19-23 Baxter get brick faces
Wooden “Old Church” structure still in rear of 7-9 Mulberry

Tiny triangle to the left of 85 Park, at 169 Worth, now shown as wooden structure. (Hardly noticeable in some maps, while looking like a full width lot in others).

Still old 27-29 Mulberry
19-21 Mott in place; dumbbell shapes shown*
As this is still a few years before the Old Law was passed, makes me wonder how this came to be. Were the builders being generous in conforming to the new law before it became mandatory? Some sort of incentive perhaps? Or are the maps showing stuff planned but not built yet (a glaring example of this coming up). They likely interpreted the 1867 law the way it was actually intended; with exterior windows in every room, where other builders simply started adding windows to other rooms. The 1879 law is what clarified the external windows, mandating the new shape.

Block 165 (Bend):
New 82-86 Park (82, 84 pink, 86 green)
Looks like old 88-92, but with extension (with several skylights) separated by thin wooden section
31 Mulberry = green
New 33-39½ Baxter

Block 166:
Cow Bay still demapped
34 Baxter cleared but not Worth St. (161) portion
(Old 2 story 30 Baxter as well. Originally had four hollow dots, now has two, while the new one has only one ⦅different classes of residential building with store⦆).

New bigger buildings on west side of Mission Place between Worth and Park, and around corner on Worth.
(These would be destroyed by a huge fire in December —assuming this map was before December, and it says they were large buildings so it must be these new ones; that nearly took out the entire block and even threatened the Mission and House of Industry: “Local miscellany; fire at the five points”
They would quickly be replaced, likely by the buildings appearing in the photo of the last mission house).

This map marks the replacement of two old really dilapidated wooden complexes seen in various pictures.
The most commonly seen are the “Home of the Rioters” at №82, 82½ or 84 (according to different maps), and one or two lots after that.
These appeared beginning in the 1827 Catlin drawing as a row of two story wooden structures with stores on the ground floor and the typical dormers and chimneys on a gabled roof (the little portico on the corner entrance was added later). Over time, this row was featured in several pictures of the intersection (such as “Five Points in 1859” with the brick 31½ Baxter behind them), and became incredibly warped, so that by a Board of Health photo dated 1872, the whole thing had apparently sunk into the ground, so that the second floor (same exact roof) is now almost on ground level!

Another badly warped wooden structure was the “Dens of Death” in the rear of Block 165, on the Baxter side, further up at №35-39 The 1850’s maps show only front buildings as wood at these addresses, and given the shadowing, this must be looking at them from behind, and seeing the big tenements across the street in the background. So to the left is the other side of the 31[previously “-½”] Baxter tenement from the Home of the Rioters pictures, casting its shadow on half of №33, which is actually the leftmost part of this row. The front of these buildings are those to the left of №31 in the Home of the Rioters pictures, and in the distance of Catlin’s picture. So that one brick building was for decades (since 1853 at least) surrounded by all these warped little wooden ones.
These too are all replaced by even bigger brick tenements (almost dwarfing №31).
Also, corner address goes from №84 to 82 Park, and former 84½ becomes 84 with new buildings.

So a lot of the really horrible structures were being cleared, and by the ’80s and ’90s, Five Points would look pretty much like the other 19th century Manhattan brick neighborhoods you can still visit today (with the tall new Mission on one side of Paradise Park, and the equally tall new House of Industry on the other side, etc). But this last generation of Five Points would be shortlived.
Behind this more respectable looking face of “the new Five Points” were still the “rookeries” in the backs of many lots (24 Baxter included now or shortly after); plus the living conditions of the apartments themselves; hence the whole point of Riis’ photos. I liked how the Mother Jones article cited in an above comment put it: “On a bright spring morning in the 1880s or early 1890s, a New Yorker—curiosity aroused, perhaps, by one of Riis’s articles—might have strolled over to Mulberry or Baxter Street to see for himself. Such a New Yorker—disinclined to push through to the dark inner rooms a few flights up or to the dismal courts and alleys behind or to the dank beer dives below—might conclude that perhaps Riis had exaggerated“.
Hence the determination that the only way to finally, really get rid of the squalor and vice is to clear out all of this.

*(In any case, these two buildings [19-21 Mott], using the plain red brick with arched lintel design (which was at the twilight of its run at that time, as the more ornate styles were becoming more common) is one of the earliest of this “Old Law” design, with the narrow light shafts between buildings (and on the south side of №19 which abuts the next lot as well). They must have been built a few years earlier, even, as a picture I link to in a later comment shows both №21 (on the corner) and the Home of the Rioters, which is already gone in this map. 21 Mott must have just been built (side looks very white like paint job hasn’t worn yet), and Home of the Rioters must have been in its very last days).

(Long before finding these last two, and next maps, I had seen this one
1879 Aerial map of the Five Points by Will Taylor. A 3D drawing:
You see a big building on Park St. that would be the Mission. To the right of it, a small building, a narrower large one and then a smaller one on the corner, and smaller structures in front of (around the corner) on Baxter (including a gabled one). Hard to tell what’s what.
You also see the larger structures on Block 65 of both Park and Baxter replacing the wooden Home of the Rioters and Dens of Death)

1884 Perris

Block 160:
Here’s something we’ve never seen before (earlier or later): №22 and 24 rears different colors
№24 rear pink, 2 dots (dwelling with slate or metal roof. Walls not coped).
№22 rear green, 1 dot, “D” (Third class warehouse. Fronts stay yellow)
Hollow dot in №24 front (“residence with stores under”), but only one space (later maps shows 2 stores in front).
Square green wooden structure* marked “G” (frame “first class store or dwelling”). Opening to white space not shown.
№65 still green.

Rear bay of №22 front half (abutting №24) filled with open wooden structure
Pink “(89)” [circle] on corner, which is a fire signal. A hydrant (large black dot) also.
Full length undivided 65 Park (This causes a conflict with the next map) with huge skylight in rear, 2 dots, shorter perpendicular black bar near 22. Dumbwaiter or hatchway on wall separating №24.

New brick 18 Baxter appears, which seemed to be an early prototypical sort of “dumbbell” tenement; which with the detail of this map looks like two separate buildings, with a little round connecting piece in the middle, which has a skylight. That’s almost obviously the stairwell, connecting the front and rear tenement, instead of the detached structures of before. (Where 19 and 21 Mott, 34 Baxter, etc. are simply a bit narrower in the middle and not only the width of a stairwell in the most central point as this one seems. Most others are in between, having both the stairway and some hallway space including a dumbwaiter and water closet in the narrowest part, according to the layout shown in the tenement article, so not being quite as narrow as this section of №18).

Donovan’s Lane now cut off by new lumber yard filling whole 476 Pearl lot (474 also has new brick five story tenement replacing wooden front house, but same brick rear tenement).

Slight renumbering again, as entire Mission becomes 63 Park (including old portion of building on Brewery site), and 57-59-61 becomes single building to the west replacing previous 57 and 59.

Block 166:
Paradise park not mapped (just open space apart of the three streets)
Cow Bay still not mapped
Buildings to west become playing card factory, small wooden extension in front of adjoining lot, and small wooden green one in rear of same lot

New 167 Worth/30 Baxter replaces old brick “Federal” style building at center of Catlin drawing (this was hard to tell, as they look the same on the maps, and differ only by number of stories. I originally assumed original building lasted to the end, but then began seeing later photos of the corner).
34 Baxter still clear except on Worth St. side.

Block 165 (“The Bend”):
New brick 88, 90 Park, 5 stories
(Still old 92, 94)
31 Mulberry wooden extension enclosed, green like rest of structure

Block 164:
New T-shaped brick 48-50 Mulberry appears
Still old brick 2 story 32 Mulberry

Block 161:
New 27 Mulberry, old 29
Old Church tenement replaced by brick structure (green, two dots, “B”, 6 stories; but shown as cleared on next map, but reappearing in 1891 and afterward. Also, renumbering of old front buildings; 7 becomes subdivided into 5 and 7, and 9 becomes 7½ and 9).

Third Avenue El Chatham Sq. station appears, shown as yellow (wooden) structure in street.

*Now, before, when this chronology jumped from the 1860’s to 1885, and the likely “privy” structures in the 18-24 court were last seen in the earlier map, then it looked as though they seemed to be long gone by the time Riis’ picture of the court was dated. Yet now we have entered the rough time period of the photo (“ca. 1890”, but also said to be 1880’s, particularly 1888 I see), and the one next to №24 is still there.
This rare “stereo right” [explained in another comment] version of the picture shows the wooden staircase ending at the side of some sort of shed, making it a good chance that that’s what’s shown on the map! —i.e. The [likely] “privy”.

If so, it would also likely confirm which way the photo is looking, and the natural first impression, that the building on the right is the №24 rear, and the building on the left (visible in the more common “stereo left” version) is the №22 rear, which probably started out as a normal residential rear tenement; it’s design is more like a purpose-built tenement, and it seems to originally have had a central entrance door in the photo bricked up, and with a stoop that has collapsed into the slabs of concrete the kids are posing on; then later connected to the industrial №24 complex, and now the whole thing turned back into residential use. Or perhaps №22 rear was built for the distillery workers all along (it does predate all the other wood-to-brick rear tenement replacements. №24 front house, and probably №22 front house were probably originally factory-related residences as well, and №65 as the owner’s house), and for some reason the front entrance was moved like that?

(My work desk 110 years later wouldn’t be straight ahead as I surmised in the OP; it would be to the hard left, about 300 ft. away, though the other room where I maintained property tax folders would be pretty much straight ahead or slightly left, about 100 ft., which was Paradise Park still, then; and today, the view is simply standing in Cardinal Hayes walk looking out toward Worth St. and the side of the courthouse).
What made me think the building on the right was more likely №22 rear and the one on the left was №20 rear was, at first, thinking the №22 front house was №24, because the first map I saw was the faded copy of the 1853 one in the earlier link, and it was hard to read the addresses, so I miscounted from where single digits appeared to become double. The rear court actually being behind that house seemed to confirm it. Then, the big change coming in a few years in the 22/24 corner (below) also seemed to point to the photo being another corner.

Now we arrive at what we previously “jumped” to:
1885 (Robinson, E, under “Multiple Boroughs” on NYPL site)

Mission has completely incorporated №63. (Rear is different shape than on Perris and Bromley maps).
Here’s the conflict with the previous year’s map:
№65 has been lengthened only a bit so that it’s longer on the east side, but still pretty much only the front half of the lot (and still shown as abutting but distinct from 24 Baxter, of course).
The previous map showed the building extended to fill the entire lot. So it looks like Perris was more up to date, and this third cartographer, Robinson, is showing the building when it was in the process of being extended.

Small “privy” structure in court gone. (Probably still there, but only Perris shows that detail).

Block 166:
Cow Bay back on map; new buildings on west side (though not immediate corner lot)
Brick 34 Baxter/161 Worth tenement appears.
Brick faces on wooden buildings not shown.

1891 (Bromley, at Dave Rumsey collection; also at NYPL:

Block 160:
Extended 148 foot №65 Park; abuts the front and rear parts of the Mission (also does in Perris version that first showed the full extension). But it’s now totally detached (space between) №22/24.
№20 front building gets brick face and southern (left) half rear extension halfway to rear building.

Widening of the rear of №18 Baxter (so that it abuts №20) not shown, but it was on all other maps showing the new brick structure, starting with 1884.
This appears to leave a pathway connecting the Baxter court with the former “Murderer’s Alley”/Donovan’s Lane space (whose Pearl St. entrance was by now plugged by a new building. They may have connected earlier when the old wooden №18 rear was open, though №20 rear space in front of it looks like it was fenced off).

Block 161:
New brick building at №23 Baxter and surrounding lots appears (marked as 6 stories on the following maps). This 1887 article discusses the Grand Duke Theatre that had been in the old house’s basement, which had just been razed for the new tenement being built:
Wooden 87 Park brick front shown again, and 89-93 as well but not №85 (shown earlier with one).
New 6 story building at №95ff (on corner of Mulberry).

1894 (Sanborn) (Basically picks up Perris design)

Block 160:
24 Baxter rear green again. Simple L shaped building that now completely incorporates №22 rear as an undivided wing, and is again shown abutting (without connection to) 65 Park.
(Also, “interior brick wall not on all floors”, shown previously on the left side of 22 also gone).

Wooden “Bowling Alley” structure in corner of the “L” in the court.
This is what would apparently alter the scene of the Riis photo a few years afterward, since the evidence points to it looking at that corner. Apparently a major overhaul of the whole complex had taken place. Possibly even a reaction to the Riis exposure, and thus an effort to clean up the filthy scene of the photo —and generate some more money at the same time. (Here is a picture of a “19th century bowling alley”: They were very narrow, at just one lane).
The two ground floor entrances probably became interior entrances to the bowling alley. Not sure what would have happened to the 2nd floor entrance and stairway. Naturally, either removed, or possibly became an additional access to the alley.

Some sort of wooden structure in dotted lines extends from the bowling alley along №24 to the rear of the little №22 front building. Another structure like this appears in an indentation of the court side of №18. These might be “porches” as shown in pictures of Roosevelt St., Mott St. and other places.

The one along №24 can’t be the wooden 2nd floor deck and stairway from the picture, because that’s too close to the corner of the other brick building, and this structure is in the other corner, with the wooden №22 front house.
[Edit: map also shows 48-50 Mulberry as having one of these! See comment in other article. They were shown for none of the buildings in the 1884 map, nor of course, Bromley or Robinson].

The №24 green (rear) building has one dot, indicating “Bakeries (oven in building), breweries…etc.” and other heavy food and non-food industries. An “E” indicates “2nd class Store or Dw’g”
№24 front (still yellow) has a hollow circle, indicating “Dwelling and Store” (Now two stores on the ground floor, by the divider shown. Still shown with indoor connection to the industrial rear building!)
№20 extension gone.

This is the year the new, even bigger Mission built that fills almost the entire lot, including №63. (Still touches 65 in very front and rear, with side space inbetween. This article reports 63, the address for the “Mission House…compris[ing] the Free School of the Mission and Grace Chapel” being torn down that year to make way for the new building: May 20, 1894
That version of 63 itself appeared to be fairly new).
It is also “first class dwelling”, and has an elevator not enclosed with brick or other fire proof material) and a big skylight on the roof.

№65 Park shown as 2 stories in front section (to about where the №22 building is), then 2 stories (to 16/18 Baxter line), and then 1 story. It has a boiler, a skylight in the front and rear, and a dumbwaiter or “hatchway” in the front (but now across from where it was before. This time it’s on the wall next to the Mission). All three sections have three dots, which indicate “Box repairing, Cabinetmaking, Distilleries…”, and a bunch of other industrial uses, “generally where much heat or light wood is used”. “B” indicates “second class warehouse”.
New York Times: “New Five Points Mission; Work of Demolishing the Old Structure Begun” reports that the Mission actually moved into 65 Park pending the erection of the new building next door.

65 has two perimeter “x”s indicating “openings exposing building” (but “without iron shutters”) facing the Mission side court, and two on the other side (facing №18 and 20 Baxter, and №20, a 4 story dwelling with a 1st class “slate or metal roof, coped walls” has an opening across from it).
№24 rear had one each facing the little light shafts of 67, 69 and 71 Park. (Wonder if these could be secondary exits. Front exits and windows are not shown like this. Does “exposing” mean it’s totally open to the elements? 24 front and 26 appear to abut, and yet share an x on the wall).

№18 Baxter, apparently has an opening connecting to the front section on the “1st” floor only. All three sections even have their own separate “5[story]” indication, and their own dot indications showing the front having stores on the ground floor, but not the rear. The wooden structure mentioned touches all three sections, filling the indentation formed by the front section being wider, and the rear section being wider in the back.
Since that wider rear section is this time not shown abutting №20 rear (as it did in the 1885 map, and didn’t get wider in the 1891 map), we still have the passageway leading to the former Murderer’s Alley (Donovan Lane) space.

Paradise Park has a single wooden gazebo!

Last hurrah: the “New Baxter Court”
Block 161:
85 Park has brick face again (169 Worth still does not)
Fire alarm #89 moved from southwest corner (26 Baxter) to 169 Worth triangle.
Former “Old Church” site new building (5-9 Mulberry rear) becomes [pink] “Lodging House”

1897 (Bromley)

Block 165 (Mulberry Bend) now cleared; park in place.

Block 160:
24 and 22 rear have solid line between them as always on Bromley. Wooden building still in their corner.
1 story rear portion of 65 (adjacent to 16 Baxter) now gone, but remaining original 148 feet is now 3 stories.
Rear piece of the Mission touching 65 also gone.
Wooden dotted line structures against 18 and 24 in court not shown (Detail apparently not shown in Bromley map).

There’s also an 1897 or later version of the 3D drawing:
Looks pretty much the same except for showing the new park.

From this site:–New+York++State+–Manhattan++New+York++))+@FIELD(COLLID+pmmap))
I think you’re supposed to be able to zoom into any part of Manhattan, though I’m not able to get it to work


Two six story “dumbbell tenements” fill №22 and 24 lots (including the former alleyway to the rear), but leave more backyard space in the lots to the 65 Park line. They are the common lower Manhattan variety that narrows a second time in the very middle.
A picture of the 1894 Mission building (see; another rare view) shows the backs of these tenements, as well as 65 Park, as simple flat-roofed, lintel-windowed structures, like the kind you still find all over the city. (65 has a short stairway to the second floor, with the first floor completely on ground level, like a typical brownstone’s “parlor floor with large stoop” setup. This might be why Sanborn has it as 2 stories, and Bromley had it as 3).
67 and 69 Park in this photo look similar, though on a smaller scale, and the same height as the 3 story 65, even though it is 4 stories.
73 Park/26 Baxter now 4 stories and incorporates 71 Park. (Shown on the map, but beyond the edge of the picture).

The “dumbbell” tenements

Block 161:
Northwest corner becomes park as well. Everything east of House of Industry and south of 38 Baxter cleared.
1902 version seems identical.

Edit: When NYPL redid their map collection, I found the 1905 Sanborn. More details added.

24 Baxter first floor fills space of north dumbbell shaft and front half of south shaft. (Shaft outline is dashed lines. Always wondered what that meant, and answers question in comments in other article about 46 Mulberry shaft).
22 also has rectangular front with smaller dumbbell shafts on both sides except on first floor. (This is why it looked different in previous map. It only has half a rear dumbbell impression).
Both have fire proof basements (“F.P. to 1st”). “Store with dwelling” now marked by “S.D.” Basements marked by “B” after number of floors. Both also have dumbwaiters on the south side next to the narrowest portion of the exterior shaft.

71 and 73 Park seem to be separate buildings again. (162 Worth is also marked).

Mission now marked brown, as fire proof building.

Both 18 Baxter and 48 Mulberry porches now iron (This answers the question of when the one I saw on the latter was replaced. I thought it would have been more recent. Iron is gray while stone is blue; a total reversal from before).

Even at this date, you still had a rookery in a stable in the outdoor “Murderer’s Alley” space, which had a fire that damaged that whole side of the Mission house:

(Map shows little iron structures on both sides of building)

1911 (Bromley)

Doesn’t show the dumbbell shapes of №22 and 24. (i.e. perfect rectangles. If I had seen this before the previous ones, I would have thought it was the old №24, with the front finally being done in brick and a similar building added next door). It seems the Bromley drawings change from map to map.
Everything else seems pretty much the same.
Brick-fronted wooden №20 and its rear tenement and [what’s left of the] “court” space, as well as old 5 story tenement №18 still kicking in there. The only hope for the Riis photo building to have lasted this long is to be on one of those lots, but that is unlikely as they were always residential.

This next one is wild.
1916, the “Court House” fills the whole area.

But this is NOT 60 Centre, as built! Take a GOOD look at it! It’s completely ROUND (60 Centre is a hexagon), and is so big it cuts off both Worth and Pearl, and even Centre had to be moved west a bit! 40 and 80 Centre would not have been able to have been built! It almost reaches Lafayette, Leonard (Hogan Pl), Baxter and Park Row (Park row still has its old buildings, including the first few lots on Baxter, but everything else has been cleared.
It also has FOUR sets of big “grand steps” portico entrances; all diagonal from each other. One facing Foley Sq (but tilted more to the south), another right at the corner of Centre and Worth, the next one facing Baxter and Columbus Park, and the other aligned with where Pearl should cut through.

NYS Court article mentioning it:

The design, “an entirely circular building, modeled on the Roman Coliseum, one considerably larger (700 feet in diameter, with four main entrances and 16 courtrooms on each floor)” was actually a second design by Guy Lowell, which actually won that second round of competition, though he went back to a smaller version of his earlier hexagonal design, which is what was built. (The bigger one smacks of the Tower of Babel a bit, in my opinion).

(So these fire insurance maps show proposed buildings that may not get built!)

1924 aerial photo shows all of the lots immediately surrounding the [as-built] courthouse as cleared. Only the buildings on the corner of Park Row, up to 8 Baxter remain. Also later found ground pictures of this!)

From → Interests

One Comment
  1. Saw a suggested Pinterest page of “6th Ward”, and noticed one pin was on “[Orange Street] ‘Second Hand Clothing Dealers’ 1852 Wilson’s Business Directory of New-York City, with . So I Iook under “Distillers, and Rectifiers of Spirits”, and find Pirnie’s at 24 Orange, but it’s P, B & H (no J). P is of course Peter, Don’t know who “B” or “H” are. In the other article, I pint out, from the almanacs, that “In 1843 the partnership of J. & P. Pirnie was dissolved, John carrying on alone” . But Jon also apparently named a son after Peter, and who joined in the business. So looks like now John is gone, and Peter # 2 and other relatives have taken his place. This is apparently the last year they owned the distillery, as in the first Perris map (1853), it is unmarked. So John, who seemed to be the main owner, probably retired (he lived uptown, and died in the 1860’s), another brother tried to take his place, but then they decided to sell the business.

    So then here is a new source of who owned what! Now we can perhaps see who owned it afterward. NYPL site only has two, that one and:

    1861 Haddenhorst & Kiffe is now at 24 Baxter under the same entry. I believe it was already the “Manhattan Brewery” at this point. (That label may have started with the 1857 map, but it’s hard to tell, since they place stickers over the original, and then there was “1857-62”).

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