Unlike most Manhattan streets this one gets little use and probably has never witnessed a traffic jam. In a given week it sees more bicycle activity than automobile usage by a large factor. Pedestrians use it as a shortcut between Christopher and West 10th, but neighbors would be hard pressed to recall its name.
Call it neglected, overlooked and ignored, Weehawken Street has been in existence since the 1700’s and has changed little since that time.
The street runs north-south and sits squarely within the “Weehawken Street Historic District”. See its location on Google Maps.
According to the May 6, 2006 New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission report:
“The picturesque enclave of fourteen buildings and the street plan that together comprise
the Weehawken Street Historic District represents several phases of construction spanning a
century of development along Greenwich Villages’ Hudson River waterfront, from 1830 to 1938.
The architecture illustrates the area’s long history as a place of dwelling, industry, and
commerce, much of it maritime-related, and is a rare surviving example of this once typical
development pattern on Manhattan’s west side waterfront. Many of the properties in the historic
district were associated with the families of prominent long-term owners, such as former Mayor
Stephen Allen, Cornelius V.S. Roosevelt, lawyer Edmund R. Terry, brewer-distiller Patrick
Skelly, and linen merchant James Dean. In addition, several significant maritime-related
industries were located within the historic district for a century, between 1884 and 1984″.
The Weehawken Market
In the early 1800’s, the Weehawken Market was situated here and served as a terminus for produce ferried in from New Jersey. Although the location was convenient to Hudson River piers and wharves, the market itself never really flourished. By 1844 the market was abandoned. The market land was then divided into seven separate lots.
Weehawken Street became a popular destination for artists in the late 1800s. The attraction was the modest examples of early Greenwich Village architecture that were largely unchanged by the development and redevelopment in most areas in the city. In this case neglect worked in its favor.
Today, the street doesn’t attract nearly as many artists. A block away and across the busy multi-lane thoroughfare known as West Street, photographers and painters await the perfect moment to capture the sunset over the western horizon. Large sailboats mingle with the busy ferries which cross the Hudson between Hoboken and midtown Manhattan, oblivious to the history that is within earshot of their foghorns.
But Weehawken Street plods on within the city. It remains in the shadow of sleek condominiums and noisome West Street. The venerable, diminutive side street which gathers little attention continues to soldier on as the city grows tall and long.