In the News: The Constant Street Construction

Hudson and Harrison circa 1920 photo from Wurts Brothers and MCNY••• The Old New York Page ran this photo of Hudson and Harrison, circa 1920. It’s by the Wurts Brothers and it comes from the collection of the Museum of the City of New York.

••• I glossed over the New York Times food section item about the restaurants at the Westfield World Trade Center mall, because it didn’t seem to have any news, but then Eater mentioned that the NYT said a Shake Shack is forthcoming. Could there really be Shake Shacks at Fulton Center, the World Trade Center, and Goldman Alley? No, it turns out—a Shake Shack rep said the NYT must’ve been confused.

••• The New York Times has an article on why the city’s streets are constantly being ripped up. I didn’t find it enlightening, but you might. (It’s nice to see the paper attempt anything beyond oceans of text, but the expanded, visual-heavy format of this one seems to serve no real purpose, which is a shame, because there’s a lot of information that would’ve been well served by more useful graphics.)

••• I’ll be out of town for a bit—but still blogging!—so I’ll appreciate your tips even more than usual. Email me at or call/text 917-209-6473.



  1. This book ( is one of the Times’ sources for this piece. It has a lot more information and useful graphics about NYC utilities and public infrastructure.

  2. 81 Hudson is of course the location of Puffy’s Tavern today. Puffy’s opened in the early 1950’s under the management of one
    Frank Delassante. The name referred to his waistline. It catered to the then Washington Market workers who breakfasted early with drinks served in coffee cups. Previously, it was known as “Jimmy’s” a bar operated by an Anita Weiss a German immigrant
    who arrived here in the 1930’s. Before that it was a food shop called “Wagners”. The building dates from 1919, so this photo depicts a new building. Interestingly the top of the building shows
    the name of a “Rogers & Co.” who may have been the original owners.
    Frank DeMarco, Puffy’s owner/manager. 1977-2005

  3. From the May 1991 Tribeca West HD designation report:

    “Date: 1919 [NB 85-1919]
    Architect: Schwartz & Gross
    Owner/Developer: Henry M. Day, Inc.
    Builder: Edgar A. Levy Construction Co […]

    “Designed by the notable firm Schwartz & Gross, it was constructed in 1919 for Henry M. Day, Inc., replacing a three-story store and residence. […]

    “The building has been used continuously for busines purposes and it continues to house offices on the upper stories. A restaurant is located on the ground story.”

    • Thanks James. I correct myself here.
      THe name at the top of 81 Hudson is indeed “Henry M. Day”.
      There seems to be no trace of it now, or of that developer.
      The C of O for 81 Hudson(block 180, lot 8)says that the building
      was constructed in 1919. Thus, it was first occupied in 1920.
      I had no idea that it once held a wire service for the Chicago Merc.
      In this photo the building is spanking new. It is an interesting
      design, in contrast to the Dutch style brick 19th century warehouses on Hudson. When Puffy’s first occupied the space
      the building and most of the warehouses on Hudson were owned
      by SICO, an importer of Greek cheese and olives.
      Frank DeMarco

  4. There is a lot about the early days of this building (as a part of the area’s produce markets and trading) in one old industry journal online at Google Books:

    Title : The American Produce Review (aka New York Produce Review and American Creamery)

    Volume 53, Published:1922 (Nov 2, 1921 – April 26, 1922)

    Page 111:

    Planned for New York Dealers at the New York Office of O. D. Gilman & Co.

    “New York traders in butter and eggs are to have the facilities for future dealings provided by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange virtually brought to their doors when the plans of O. D. Gilman & Co. for opening and equipping their New York office are completed. According to
    statements of these plans made by C. E. Cromer, president of the company, the New York offices, instead of being in the N. Y. Mercantile Exchange building, as first announced, will occupy the whole second floor of the building on the
    opposite (southwest) corner of Harrison and Hudson Sts., whence it is designed to operate a private telegraph wire directly to the Chicago office. The plan contemplates the immediate posting on blackboards in the New York office of all transactions on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange as they occur and the acceptance of orders to buy or sell for immediate transmission through the Chicago office of the company. As before announced the New York office will be in charge of Harold L. Brown as soon as he has recovered from his illness, as elsewhere noted.”

    Page 249:

    O. D. Gilman & Co. Brings Chicago Exchange Facilities to New Yorkers on the Instant.

    “O. D. Gilman & Co. have recently opened their New York offices at No. 1 Harrison St. consummating the plans recently outlined. H. L. Brown, who has fully recovered from his recent operation for appendicitis, came to New York last week to take charge, and the
    new venture is attracting much interested attention in the trade here. A direct private wire connects the New York office with the company’s Chicago office, from which a private telephone connection has been made with the
    Chicago Mercantile Exchange. A clerk is
    stationed there and bids, Offerings and sales of butter and eggs on the Chicago Exchange are immediately transmitted and posted on the black boards of the New York office, together with other Exchange information of interest. The service is bringing the news of Chicago Exchange trading to New Yorkers on the minute and, by most of the trade, is highly appreciated.”

    Page 1074:


    “O. D. Gilman & Co., who have occupied the second floor of the building 1 Harrison St. since they opened the New York branch, have secured a lease of the ground floor and are rapidly getting settled in their new quarters. The entrance will be at 81 Hudson St. The room is being made very attractive, and the large blackboards and wire service keep their clients closely in touch with the Chicago market. Harold L. Brown and Frank A. McGrail are hustlers and they are laying plans for big spring business.”

    Page 1388

    TO LET—Office, about 20×50 feet, light all around, in a new 3 story building, 81 Hudson St., corner Harrison St. Suitable for brokers or manufacturers representatives. Also basement to let. For further information communicate with owner, A. Miller, Box 2, Arverne, L. I., or inquire in store of Gilman & Co.”

  5. At this link is a photo of the same corner circa 1916 from the MCNY:

    E. L. D. (Edward Loomis Davenport) Seymour (1888-
    [Southwest corner of Hudson Street and Harrison Street]
    DATE:ca. 1916