When Fire and Ice Devastated the Corner of Allen and East Houston [PHOTOS]

Posted on: January 12th, 2015 at 10:02 am by

This image has been archived or removed.

Photo: Museum of the City of New York

With the so-called polar vortex enveloping the Tri-State area the last week, this story seemed rather appropriate. We’re revisiting the devastating fire that sparked in the early-morning hours of January 12, 1903 beneath a series of adjoining tenements at Houston and Allen Streets.

Leather manurfactuer Fayerweather & Ladew owned the buildings, with addresses of 159-165 East Houston and 207-211 Allen. The blaze began in the basement at 4:03 am, and quickly “extended throughout the buildings, also causing loss and damage to adjoining building and contents,” according to the 1903 Annual Report of the Committee on Fire Patrol. Firefighters reportedly battled for 13 hours and 45 minutes before the flames were extinguished.

The photos hereiwith illustrate the extent of the conditions in which the first reponders toiled, as well as the catastrophic aftermath. Frozen fire escapes and rubble, all with the Second Avenue El in the foreground.

All photos courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York.

This gallery has been removed.

Recent Stories

Group Viciously Assaults Man on Allen Street, then Steals his Pants

Police say a man was assaulted, slashed, and robbed by a group of people in broad daylight at Allen Canal Streets Friday morning. According to the police report, at 11:30am, a pack of twelve individuals – both male and female – jumped the 26-year-old victim in the center median (aka Allen Street Mall). Surveillance footage […]

In Chinatown, it’s Elders Lost in Vaccination

As the nation’s coronavirus death toll exceeds 400,000, news of mass vaccination sites opening across New York city is certainly welcome. However, securing an appointment is proving a daunting task. The mayor previously stressed equity in treatment for vaccination, which is rolled out in phases. Yet, with the mandate that all appointments require online registration, […]

State Suspends Dudley’s Liquor License Over Sidewalk Dining Enclosures

The State Liquor Authority wielded its hammer last weekend, summarily suspending the liquor license of Dudley’s on Orchard Street. At issue was the sprawling street eatery constructed by the business, which wraps the corner of Broome Street. Inspectors paid a visit on January 15, and witnessed forty-five patrons “dining within inside enclosures located on the […]

Clayton’s Corner: Overthrow the Wrong Way

In this installment of Clayton’s Corner, photographer Clayton Patterson shares news that the Overthrow boxing gym on Bleecker Street is back in action. Then, crosstown on Essex Street, two cops stopped for a quick slice. However, flouting traffic by driving the wrong way to park in front of Champion Pizza. This move seemed to irk […]

How COVID and a Bus Stop Chased Benson’s from Essex Street

The following guest post was penned by Boogie reader Sydney Fishman. For five years, Benson’s held down the corner of East Houston and Essex Streets with craft beers, sumptuous burgers, and the occasional movie night. The movie nights, according to owner Annie Morton, were the highlight of Benson’s tenure on the Lower East Side. Before […]