A bustling neighborhood in mid-west Manhattan, Hell’s Kitchen has grown from anextremely rich and diverse past into an exciting center of culture in New York City. Previously known as Midtown West or Clinton, the neighborhood is well known for its unique name, with several legends as to how it earned it’s distinctive label. The most prominent and likely theory claims that two police officers were watching a riot in the area, when the rookie said, “This place is hell itself,” to which his senior replied, “Hell’s a mild climate. This is Hell’s Kitchen.”
The uniquely named Hell’s Kitchen is bounded by 34th St and Chelsea to the South, 59th St and Central Park West to the North, 8th Ave and the Theater District to the East, and the Hudson River to the West.
Shown below is a sanitary and topographical map of the Hell’s Kitchen area in 1865, created by Egbert L. Viele. Although the neighborhood was concentrated more the the south at this time, the rich cultural history would have been greatly present during the making of this map.