by Kevin Walsh

Once again, another obligation-packed weekend and work week under way, with actual paying work obligations combined with tour planning, actual tours and dentist appointments, and I’ve little time again to research and construct a full Sunday lengthy page. Thus I will go into the voluminous Forgotten NY archives for this shot at the corner of Collister and Hubert Street, deep in Tribeca.

I have just returned from a day trip to Philadelphia, which unlike New York City and like Boston, is chockablock with tiny alleys, some too narrow to squeeze a motor vehicle on; some Belgian-blocked; and some with actual cobblestones. One of these years I’d like to take a month or two and photograph these tiny alleyways and chronicle them since apparently no one else has thought to do so. The Philly street system — which looks like a simple grid on paper with north-south numbered streets — is richly complicated and seemingly makes little sense until you grasp the logic behind it.

Back to the photo. We are looking south here, with #1 World Trade Center peeking over the rooftops. The three-story gray building is #11 Hubert Street, was originally a garage designed by Dietrick Wortmann and built in 1946, making it a relative newcomer in Tribeca. The building was redesigned in 2011 by architect Winka Dubbeldam

In the right foreground is #10 Hubert, went up in 1892 [Julius Kastner, architect] and was originally occupied by liquor merchant Joseph Bearns. It has a Romanesque design; notice the window treatments on the 4th and 5th floors differ from the first three.

A great many streets in lower Manhattan are associated with the historic Trinity Church, named for church officials, sextons (caretakers), clergymen, etc. As a kid (yes, I knew of Collister Street’s existence as a small child because I pored over maps in my spare time) I always associated the street with kitchen metal straining devices, but that’s colander. Collister Street is named for Thomas Collister, who was Trinity Church sexton from 1790-1816.

Take a look at this FNY page for a full survey of this two-block alley.

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”


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