Vintage Photographs of Manhattan's "Gas House District", Now Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village

East 20th Street facing east towards 1st Avenue in 1938 with two huge gas holders in the distance.
East 20th Street facing east towards 1st Avenue in 1938 with two huge gas holders in the distance.
Photo: Wikipedia

Before the neighborhood and housing communities of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village were built on the east side of Manhattan in the 1940s, the "Gas House District" occupied the area. According to our friends at Untapped Cities:

the area was formerly known as the Gas House District, named because of the two giant, circular gas storage tanks, or “gashouses.” In the late 19th and early 20th century, this Gas House District was a cheap place to live, with tenement prices being very low, as a result, it was a magnet for poor immigrants coming in from Ireland in the mid-19th century, and then Germans, Easter Europeans, Italians and Armenians by the 1920s.

1st Ave and 29th Street Little Italy festa circa 1908.
1st Ave and 29th Street Little Italy festa circa 1908.
Photo: Shorpy
1940s Gas House District compared to today’s Stuy Town.
1940s Gas House District compared to today’s Stuy Town.

Check out the accompanying article for more history on the former "Gas House District" in Manhattan.

Matt Coneybeare

Matt Coneybeare

Editor in Chief

Matt enjoys exploring the City's food scene with his Wife and the outdoors with their dog. He is an avid marathon runner, and spends most of his time eating, running, and working on cool stuff.

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