Wednesday, July 17, 2024

    Historical Mulberry street


    Mulberry Street is a principal thoroughfare in Manhattan in New York City. The street was named after the mulberry trees that once lined Mulberry Bend. It is historically associated with Italian-American culture and history and in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was the heart of Manhattan’s Little Italy.

     “Mulberry Bend is a narrow bend in Mulberry Street, a tortuous ravine of tall tenement-houses… so full of people that the throngs going and coming spread off the sidewalk nearly to the middle of the street… The crowds are in the street because much of the sidewalk and all of the gutter is taken up with vendors’ stands.”

    Harlan Logan, 1894

    Mullbery street

    The street was listed on maps of the area since at least 1755. The “Bend” in Mulberry, in which the street changes direction from southeast to northwest to a northerly direction, was made to avoid the wetlands surrounding the Collect Pond. During the period of the American Revolution, Mulberry Street was usually referred to as “Slaughter-house Street”, named for the slaughterhouse of Nicholas Bayard on what is now the southwest corner of Mulberry and Bayard Streets, which was located there until the summer of 1784, when it was ordered to be removed to Corlaer’s Hook.

    Mulberry Bend formed by Mulberry Street on the east and Orange Street on the west was historically part of the core of the infamous Five Points with the southwest corner of Mulberry Bend formed part of the Five Points intersection for which the neighborhood was named. Aside from Mulberry, the other four streets forming Five Points were Anthony Street, which is now Worth Street, Cross Street, now Mosco Street, Orange Street, now Baxter Street, and Little Water Street, which no longer exists.

    Days on Mulberry Street

    “It was a dark, dirty, and dingy place, Tenement after dilapidated tenement lined both sides of Mulberry street. Clothes flapped in the wind, as they dried over the fire escapes and hung over their lines. People were hanging out of windows, speaking to others sitting on the stoops. Noise was everywhere. Horse driven carts carrying every type of basic produce known to man were moving up and down Mulberry Street. Men and women were walking and talking in every which direction. Children, lots and lots of children, raced through the streets, navigating their way through the carts and people with ease. The dirty part of Mulberry Street was plain to see, but the dark side permeated the air, and was physically tucked away in every alley along the street. Ripe with the ancient traditions of murder, mayhem, and larceny.

    This downtown debauchery was in the cradle of hell that spawned many of America’s most evil monsters, scamps and scoundrels.

    You had to keep your head up and your chin high in this part of town. The people here can immediately see, smell and sense weakness in a man. A weakness that would be simultaneously and spontaneously exploited and could even get a man put out of existence. But…keeping your head up, could also get you stepping into another problem that plagued Mulberry Street…horse manure. It was everywhere. There were too many people and too many horses corralled all together in one congested place, all too tight a quarters, for any vendor to possibly clean up the mess. There was no city service at the time, that could come close to keeping up with the mess.

    Winter time it would luckily bake it’s way into the snow. But in summer time, it would dry up, flake, and with the winds blowing, would fly through the air like confetti thrown at a home-coming parade.”

    From La Storia: Five Centuries of the Italian American Experience (Jerre Mangione)

    Notable Landmarks of Mulberry Street

    The Puck Building is a historic building located in the Nolita neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It occupies the block bounded by Lafayette, Houston, Mulberry and Jersey Streets.

    An example of the German Rundbogenstil style of Romanesque Revival architecture, the building was designed by Albert Wagner, and was constructed in two parts. The north section was built in 1885–86, and the south addition in 1892–93. The front of the building – on Lafayette Street – was relocated in 1899 when the street – then called Elm Place – was widened, this was supervised by Herman Wagner. The building was rehabilitated in 1983–84 and further renovated in 1995 by Beyer Blinder Belle. The building sports two gilded statues by sculptor Henry Baerer of Shakespeare’s character Puck, from A Midsummer’s Night Dream, one on the northeast corner at Houston and Mulberry, and one over the main entrance on Lafayette.


    mulberry street
    Puck Building

    The Basilica of Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral, or Old St. Patrick’s, is located at 260–264 Mulberry Street between Prince and Houston Streets in the Nolita neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, with the primary entrance currently located on Mott Street. Built between 1809 and 1815, and designed by Joseph-François Mangin in the Gothic Revival style, it was the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York until the current Saint Patrick’s Cathedral opened in 1879. Liturgies are celebrated in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

    The church was designated a New York City landmark in 1966, and the cathedral complex was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. It was declared a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI on March 17, 2010.

    Mulberry street
    Old St. Patrick Cathedral

    Old St. Patrick Cathedral in History Books

    Under date of May 26, 1809, the trustees under the presidency of the Rev. Mr. Kohlmann adopted the following measures:

    Resolved, To employ Mr. Peter Morte, mason, as master builder and superintendent of the work and building of St. Patrick’s Church, at the aforesaid wages of $2 per day, for such days as he may work, and be employed, at the option, however, of the trustees, to be discharged at their pleasure, whereupon the bsaid Peter Morte, having appeared in person before the board, accepted the terms above specified and the conditions, promising to dedicate the whole of the day to the performance of his engagements, and to hold himself accountable to the trustees for any mistake that may be committed by the inaccuracy of the workmen employed by him.

    Resolved, To employ Patrick Mullany, mason, as assistant to Peter Morte, at the wages of fourteen shillings per day, his services to commence when they may be required.

    Resolved, Unanimously to accept of the ofifer of Mr. Michael Roth as clerk for the superintendence in such points as may be requisite, and will be occasionally in- formed for the benefit of the building of St. Patrick’s Church, which the trustees will remunerate him for at $2 per day.

    At a meeting held June 1st, it was resolved that the trustees provide a corner-stone for the building of St. Patrick’s Church, with the following inscription :

    Anno Domini, 1809,
    Dedicated to St. Patrick,
    Apostle of Ireland.

    From: History of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, MOST REV. JOHN M. FARLEY, D.D., Archbishop of New York.

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