Rarely do you view a 130-year-old image of a city house and realize that the same house looks identical today. But that’s the case with 392 West Street, aka 6 Weehawken Street, in the West Village. This engraving, probably from Harper’s New Monthly Magazine in the 1870s, depicts the wood-frame home at that address.
Here’s 6 Weekhawken today. The staircase ends differently, a tree provides some shade, and a small window near the door has been walled up. But everything else seems to match.
The little house has a colorful history. It was built in 1834 as the Weehawken Market on land that had been part of Newgate State Prison, a colonial jail at 10th Street and the Hudson River which shut down that same year.
But the market failed, and in 1848 the house was bought by a boat builder, then traded hands again and used as a saloon, gambling den, clam house, and pool hall. In the 1970s to 1990s, it housed gay bars. The building doesn’t seem to have any commercial use now.
Weehawken Street, the centerpiece of the tiny Weehawken Street Historic District, is the smallest street in Manhattan—and one that people love to piss on, as this old sign makes clear.