This letter is in response to Brian Pape’s Then & Now article “The Last One Left,” WestView Feb. 2019 issue. Although we could not find the Esso station on Google, Richard knows it existed as he lived across the street.
It was on the corner of West 10th Street & Hudson. The owner’s name was Julius Freeze. It was flanked on the Hudson Street side by Ellingers trucking company and on the 10th Street side by either Bilkays or Halls trucking company.
When the trucking companies went out in the late 60’s the gas station closed as they were Esso’s main business.
Both Richard and I feel that it is a shame that so many businesses have closed in the Village. It looks like a ghost town.
The biggest shame is the closing of Saint Vincent’s Hospital.
We were both born there.
Our son was born there.
Both our mothers passed there.
Hopefully a way will be found to stop the landlords and politicians from killing the Village.
—Richard & Carol Quigley
Dear Richard and Carol,
Thank you for your interest in the Then & Now article “The Last One Left.”
As I wrote in my article, the NYC Municipal Archives of Tax Photos are now at http://nycma.lunaimaging.com/
When I searched for the ESSO station at West Tenth and Hudson Streets, I didn’t find a photo of this corner, strangely enough.
However, I did find some adjacent buildings, and this description from the 1969 Historic District Report, which confirms what you have brought to our attention.
“The HUDSON STREET West Side (Between West 10th & Christopher Streets) corner lot is occupied by a gasoline filling station built in 1947. A most necessary adjunct to any residential area, this filling station had been built in The Village with low-lying brick houses adjoining it to the south. It could well have been designed to harmonize better with the neighborhood, and through its use of materials and attractive design, have been made a feature which contributed to, rather than detracted from, the character of the neighborhood.
“For the 515 Hudson or 256 W 10th corner, the station and a parking lot cover half of the block fronts, and is adjacent to a five-story vernacular warehouse erected in 1897 and altered in the early Nineteen-thirties. It has rough stone lintels and sills and a tall roof parapet with stone coping. The adjoining corner lot is a truck loading station.”
Thank you for your contribution and support for Village preservation.
—Brian Pape, AIA