Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hess Oil/Village Cigars

From New York Photo: “A mysterious triangular mosaic [see below] is set in the sidewalk in front of Village Cigars. It reads: "Property of the Hess Estate Which Has Never Been Dedicated for Public Purposes." This tiny piece of land is the result of a dispute between a former owner, the David Hess estate, of Philadelphia and NYC. Hess owned the Voorhis apartment building at that corner which had been condemned to build a subway line. The estate refused to surrender a remaining triangle, 500 square inches, the smallest piece of private property in the city. In 1938 they sold the plot to Village Cigars for $1,000. Cracked and worn, it remains a testimony to one small triumph over the city of New York...”

I don't know what up with that crutch....


Tanya Breese said...

Cool pictures, it's like standing right there on the street! Is that cigar shop as narrow as it looks?

Hope said...

Very interesting! I love that little triangle piece of property...what a wonderful story! Also, I enjoy all your photos of these buildings. A step back in time!

Guy D said...

great pics, I was actually in that cigar shop on our honeymoon back in July. Thanks for bringin back great memories


Wayne said...

Tons of character in these shots Ken.

Virginia said...

Smokin a stogie is a crutch. No brainer.

CoyoteFe said...

That's us Philly folk for ya!
Perhaps the crutch-owner tripped over the triange?

Mame said...

Great color saturation. The red is perfectly balanced. Nice framing of an icon.

cleanpill said...

Great little hitory lesson, Ken - keep bringin' it, daddio - fantasic blog you got here...

cleanpill said...

um...history said...

great story!

Diederick Wijmans said...

Unbelievable! Probably the smallest property in the world!!
I like the Cigar Store!

Laurie Allee said...

This is awesome, KM.

marley said...

I like this little building.

I bet someone is hopping mad that they left their crutch behind!!

Hilda said...

Someone actually managed to resist NYC? Wow. Cool story, and no wonder the shop's shape is so strange!

Glad to hear your mom's hanging in there. You hang in there too.

Rob said...

You gotta' love thise small victories against the big machine. i now wonder what kind of smokey treasures are inside that cigar shop.

Christopher said...

I enjoy the history lesson.

D said...

Love the triangle story...huzzah for the Hesses.

Anonymous said...

muss man gesehen haben! waren selber da, schöne Erinnerungen, wenn wir mal wieder in NY sind, schauen wir auf jedenfall mal wieder rein

Anonymous said...

My father owned and operated Village Cigars (on Christopher St. and 7th Ave. S.)from the mid-60's until 1972 or so. I remember working there throughout my high school years and waiting on Ray Bradbury, John Sebastian, Robert Downey Sr., Jack Warden, Jack Lemmon, Dave Van Ronk, and many other interesting people. I recall when the office for the Village Voice was located directly across the street and people would jam the 3 or 4 telephone booths we had in the store when the paper came out in order to try to make the first call for prime rental properties in the Village. The store was so tiny and cramped, we didn't even have room for a cash register behind the cigar case where we waited on customers. Very fond memories of working there until I left NY for California and college.

Anonymous said...

My Dad Sonny owned the store after that untill the mid 80's. there are alot of memories of Village Cigars, famous people that came in all the time, the cast of Saturday Night Live (when it was good) the Hulk and so many more. He owned the store with his partners Sam and Louie. although I didnt get to work there because I was too young both of my brothers did and I did for a week just before the stoe sold. I think my favorite memories of the stoe was being there for the Halloween parade

Ellen Matthew said...

village cigar has great heritage. it has been through many times. very unique placec indeed. it is very good placec to buy cigars.

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