Hester Street (Manhattan)

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Coordinates: 40°43′02″N 73°59′41″W / 40.7171°N 73.9948°W / 40.7171; -73.9948

Looking west from Norfolk Street around 1898
The Hester Street Fair on a typical weekend afternoon

Hester Street is a street in the Lower East Side of the New York City borough of Manhattan.

The street stretches from Essex Street to Centre Street, with a discontinuity between Chrystie Street and Forsyth Street for Sara Delano Roosevelt Park. There is also a discontinuity at Allen Street, which was created in 2009 with the rebuilding of the Allen Street Mall. [1] At Centre Street, Hester Street shifts about 100 feet (30 m) to the north and is called Howard Street to its far western terminus at Mercer Street.

History and culture[edit]

In November 1851, the assistant board of aldermen of New York City voted in favor of removing a liberty pole at the junction of Hester Street and Division Street.[2] The Franklin Building Association held its second regular monthly meeting at Washington Hall, on December 3, 1851. The building was located at the corner of Bowery.[3] On April 15, 1912, an investigator reported that a parlor house on Hester Street had three inmates (prostitutes) who were waiting to entertain customers.[4]

It has historically been a center for Ashkenazi Jewish immigrant culture. The sculptor Jacob Epstein was raised at 102 Hester Street. More recently, it has been absorbed by Chinatown, although some kosher and Jewish-owned stores can be found.

Street Scene by George Benjamin Luks, 1905 Brooklyn Museum

As a symbol of the immigrant experience, the street was the title of the 1975 period film Hester Street.

At the east end of Hester Street, an open-air market called the Hester Street Fair currently runs on weekends from April through October. The market is on a parcel of land owned by Seward Park Co-op and is run by MTV News Correspondent SuChin Pak, her brother Suhyun Pak, Adam Zeller, and Ron Castellano.



  1. ^ Allen & Pike Streets
  2. ^ New York City, New York Daily Times, November 13, 1851, 1.
  3. ^ Special Notices, New York Daily Times, November 29, 1851.
  4. ^ Commercialized Prostitution in New York City, George Jackson Kneeland, New ed., rev. to date, New York, 1914, 16.

External links[edit]