Then– This 1940 view is looking east and north from Morton St. (right) with a set of Brooks Transportation garages at 371 West St., and a Tydol gas station on West St. at Barrow St. (left), foreground. The Keller Hotel is partly shown on the far left, at 150 Barrow St./ 384 West St., and the Federal Customs Warehouse (the “Archives”) is in the center background, a chimney at its front corner. On the right of the Washington St. background is another loft building for manufacturing or warehousing, prominent behind the barely visible NY Central viaduct (“Highline”) as it runs adjacent to the west side of Washington St. and crossing Morton St., beyond the trucks. Note the wide cobblestone streets and complete lack of trees. Behind the photographer would have been the continuous line of shipping wharves, blocking the shoreline. Credit: NYC DOF: Manhattan 1940s Tax Photos.
Now – This matching winter 2019 view from the West St. parkway, still maintains hints of the historic buildings, from left, the Keller Hotel now undergoing restorative preservation, the “Archive” apartment-conversion building with its brick chimney in the center background, and the loft building converted to office use on the right at the corner of Washington and Morton Streets. One Morton Square condo tower is just out of view on the right. West Village Houses (WVH), a 1974 affordable housing cooperative under the Mitchell-Lama rental and the Housing Development Fund Corporation Programs during its first three decades of existence, is 42 low-rise walk-up buildings with airy apartments and light-filled courtyards, benefitting from the allure of the nearby Hudson River Park and recreation facilities. This portion of WVH fills the entire block from Morton to Barrow, Washington Street to West Street, foreground, now open to the Hudson River views. The former West Side elevated highway has been replaced in 1999 with a boulevard lined with shade trees and landscaping.