For well over a century, the Lower East Side's waterfront hosted Manhattan's primary industrial district. Among dozens of factories and horse stables was one of the largest concentrations of coal, lumber and iron yards in the city. This map illustrates some of the larger companies operating by 1891, in the neighborhood referred to now by many as "Alphabet City."
By WWII most of these industries died out or relocated to the outer boroughs and the entire district was redeveloped during a post-war public housing initiative. Today "Alphabet City" is overwhelmingly residential.