Tuesday, August 16, 2005

PS 177: Mechanic's Alley

The map dates back to 1905. Note all the industrial areas present. From Forgotten-NY: "Down by the Manhattan Bridge, between Madison and Henry, there's a alley unmentioned on any New York City atlas or map.Mechanics Alley was most likely already in existence when the great Manhattan Bridge was built alongside it.The New York Times' FYI column in March 2000 had this item about Mechanics Alley: In the 18th and early 19th centuries, the term "mechanic" was loosely applied to a wide range of artisans, builders and craftsmen. New York was one of many American cities to have a Mechanics Row, Alley or Place near the waterfront, usually where ships were built and repaired...Mechanics Alley appears on maps of the district fom the early 1800s on, but it runs closer to the riverfront, between Cherry and Monroe Streets, where another tiny lane, called Birmingham Alley runs from Madison to Henry Streets. Presumably, the two alleys were joined at some point. Mechanics Alley disappeared from city maps after the Manhattan Bridge was constructed, almost directly overhead, in 1905."

1 comment:

Kevin said...

As you can see on your map of the 7th Ward drawn prior to the construction of the Manhattan Bridge Birmingham Street is between Madison and Henry, where Mechanics Alley is now, and there's a different Mechanics Alley between Cherry and Monroe. The anchorage of the Manhattan Bridge is directly over that spot now. The present Mechanics Alley may be on Birmingham Street's old roadbed...