Last week, Curbed traced the history of New York’s shortest and most neglected avenue.
In 1837, the City optimistically sold underwater lots to private investors, which were meant to be filled with nearby landfill and used to expand Manhattan westward into the Hudson River.
However, the avenue became known as a seedy and impoverished industrial district within a few decades. A blog dedicated to the avenue cites an 1883 Times article that calls it a “very peculiar avenue […] of little account” and “a dreary waste.”
Around the turn of the century, New York condemned and destroyed most of these plots to establish the larger and more accommodating Chelsea Piers.
The city originally planned for the avenue to stretch all the way to 135th Street, built with dirt excavating [sic] from upper Manhattan’s hills. But 13th Avenue never made it out of Chelsea.
Today, the only remaining stretch of the avenue is on the Gansevoort Peninsula, west of the Meatpacking District and currently occupied by sanitation department facilities.
As 13th Ave is publicly inaccessible, trying to visit is not recommended, but this all may change if a Hudson River Park Trust plan to convert the space to a “play lawn” and recreational boating area is realized.