Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Was It Ever Thus? . . . A Footnote

At last night's HDC meeting, Walter Chatham, member of the HDC (Hudson Development Corporation) Board and chair of the Planning Board, opined that the Proprietors would have continued their grid pattern of streets south of Cross Street if South Bay hadn't gotten in the way. 

Forgetting the fact that South Bay was hardly a geographic inconvenience for the Proprietors (the existence of South Bay and North Bay was the very reason the Proprietors chose this location), the speculation once again raises the question of whether Second Street ever actually existed as a roadway between Allen Street and Cross Street and continued all the way to South Bay, as suggested by the 1873 Beers Atlas map. 

Today, I discovered, in the minutes of a Common Council meeting that happened exactly one hundred years ago today, this item of Council business which offers evidence that in 1919 there was an actual street between Allen and Cross streets and a sidewalk, not stairs, running beside it.

Because the reproduction is a bit hard to read, here's the transcription. 
Alderman Finigan stated that the condition of the sidewalk on the Easterly side of South Second Street, between Allen and Cross St., had been called to his attention, and he stated that the sidewalk should be put in a proper state of repair, and moved that the matter be called to the attention of the Commission of Public Works and that the Commission be requested to have the same repaired. 
Patrick B. Finigan, the alderman who represented the First Ward in 1919, owned a business on Front Street that dealt in scrap iron, metals, rags, and rubber and lived at 20 Allen Street.


  1. Nice discovery! Thank you for the research.

  2. I'm forever wondering how a street could have run down that slope, and now it seems 2nd Street really did. Wow, thanks!

  3. "The very reason the Proprietors chose this location"

    Navigators who came in wooden ships, would have forced the HRRR to take the high road, rather than forever sever the entire City shore.