Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wallet Card at the Hess Triangle

At the corner of Seventh Avenue and Christopher Street is a rather interesting mosaic, known as the Hess Triangle. It goes back to a property dispute between the Hess family and the city of New York in the 1910s when the city seized some of David Hess's property via imminent domain in order to expand the subway. Later on the family realized that a small triangle of land was not included in the survey. They refused to donate the land to the city and instead installed a mosaic in 1922 which reads "Property of the Hess Estate which has never been dedicated for public purposes." The 500 square inch plot, the smallest individual plot in New York, was later sold to Village Cigars, who still own it today. Over ninety years later this small act of defiance remains.