Is This the Smallest Piece of Private Property in New York?
This little triangle in New York might just be the smallest piece of property in the state. It's known as the Hess Triangle and it's got a fascinating story.
The Hess Triangle is in Manhattan's West Village at the intersection of Christopher Street and 7th Avenue. The tiny plot of land was the result of a property dispute between the Hess Estate and the city of New York. According to Wikipedia,
In the 1910s the city claimed eminent domain to expropriate and demolish hundreds of buildings in the area in order to widen Seventh Avenue and expand the IRT subway. According to Ross Duff Wyttock, writing in the Hartford Courant in 1928, Hess's heirs discovered that, when the city seized the Voorhis, the survey had missed this small corner of the plot and they set up a notice of possession. The city asked the family to donate the diminutive property to the public, but they refused and installed the present, defiant mosaic on July 27, 1922.
It's easy to always look up when one visits New York, but there's plenty of interesting things to find when you look down like the marker at the entry of Rockefeller Plaza noting it as the only private street in the city and crossing the plaza is permitted by revocable licence. Another fascinating sighting in New York and other major cities like Philadelphia are Toynbee Tiles, which are mysteriously placed in pavement with the message: Toynbee Idea. In Kubrick's 2001 Resurrect Dead on Planet Jupiter.