History Of Death Avenue
In 1846, directly in front of our current location, the Hudson River Railroad negotiated a charter with the city to run tracks on an irregular route down 10th Avenue to a freight terminal at Beach and Hudson Streets and then to a final stop at Chambers Street. The trains were sometimes several blocks long, interfering with crossing traffic and pedestrian deaths along the way became fairly common. The New York World referred to the West Side route as Death Avenue in 1892, saying 'many had been sacrificed' to 'a monster which has menaced them night and day.' The Bureau of Municipal Research, a private reform organization, said in a report issued in 1908 that over 56 years, 436 people had been killed on the line. The railroad offered to move the tracks along the river, but that never happened. In 1941, train service finally ended. The New York Herald Tribune reported that the last horse to make the trip was Cyclone, ridden by George Hayden, who wore a 10-gallon hat for the occasion. Death Avenue, after a century, was dead and the High Line was born.
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