East 14th - 34th Streets

The area from Fifth Avenue east to the East River and from 14th Street north to 34th Street comprises a rather eclectic collection of neighborhoods, including Kips Bay, Rose Hill, the former Gas House District, Peter Cooper Village, Stuyvesant Town, Gramercy Park, and Stuyvesant Square. Traditionally, the wealthier neighborhoods had been located toward the west of this region, with the surroundings becoming seedier as one traveled east. Following the creation of the East River Drive (FDR Drive) in the 1930s, the easterly quarters began to improve, especially once the gas tanks were removed from the former Gas House District and Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village were constructed.

Mason's Materials, East 14th Street, 1916

Mason's Materials, East 14th Street, 1916

This photo of the Murtha and Schmol Co. was taken on June 5, 1916. The company was located at 814 East 14th Street, mere steps from the East River, on the northern border of what is today Alphabet City. At this time, the neighborhood was in transition. Originally Little Germany, by the early 20th Century many of the Germans had relocated uptown to Yorkville, and the neighborhood was repopulated by other waves of immigrants, including Jews, Italians, and Irish.

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East 14th Street and Fourth Avenue, 1916

East 14th Street and Fourth Avenue, 1916

In this black and white photo, taken in 1916, the photographer shoots west along the north side of E. 14th Street.  People stroll past the Hotel Rathskeller. A couple of newsies operate a newstand in front of the entrance to the subway. On the south side of the street, somewhat obscured by the subway kiosks are the Union Square Theater and Cafe Leo. It's somewhat difficult to see, but the ensignia of the Cafe Leo seems to be a C and L inscribed inside a Star of David.

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Construction of Stuyvesant Town, 1947

Construction of Stuyvesant Town, 1947

This black and white photograph, taken in early 1947, shows the early stages of the construction of Stuyvesant Town. The photographer shoots east along 14th Street from an elevated position on First Avenue. In the distance, to the south and east one can see the Williamsburg Bridge. A few years before this photo was taken this area was known as the Gas House District because of the large Gas Tanks in the area.

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