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Five Points

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 Map bounded by Chambers Street, Center Street, White Street, Orange Street, Bayard Street, Bowery, Chatham Street, Park Row, Chatham Street, Broadway., Digital ID 1270020, New York Public Library  Map bounded by Canal Street, Mott Street, Cross Street, Mulberry Street, Chatham Street, Pearl Street, Elm Street], Digital ID 1268302, New York Public Library

Five Points was a neighborhood area in Lower Manhattan, northeast of City Hall, at the intersection where Baxter [formerly Orange], Worth [formerly Anthony], Park Street [formerly Cross] came together to form a five point intersection. The area was made famous in the book, The Gangs of New York, by Herbert Asbury, 1928, and the screenplay to the 2002 movie. Matthew Dripps’ 1852 map, pl. 2, has the original street names, and notes the presence of the Pirnics Distillery, but not the Mission or House of Industry.

The William Perris’ Atlas of New York City, 1853, vol. 3, pl. 25, shows the Five Points area at this intersection, including triangular Five Points Park.

The William Perris’ Atlas of New York City, 1857, vol. 1, pl. 14 shows Five Points just after the City attempted a cleanup of the area, renaming streets, tearing down buildings, etc. The Methodist Mission House at 61 Park Street, is identified, and the House of Industry, at 153-157 Worth Street.

Matthew Dripps’ 1867 map of New York, pl. 5, still shows the House and Mission. G. W. Bromley’s 1879 Atlas, pl. 4 and the 1885 Robinson atlas, pl. 4, continues to show the Five Points House of Industry and the Five Points Mission, just south of The Tombs, notorious prison. The 1867, 1879 and 1885 maps all show a small underground stream in the area with a dashed line. This Five Points website has additional historical information about Five Points. The Sanborn Manhattan Landbook, pl. 8, [copyrighted, no image] shows the current situation with the N.Y. State Office Building and the New York County Courthouse on the old Five Points site.

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