Old New York in Photos #5 – 42nd Street c. 1909

42nd Street Looking West From Park Avenue c. 1909

42nd Street 1910 Photo Detroit Publishing Co.

Trolleys, horse drawn wagons and no cars, dominate this view of 42nd street.  The building on the right is Grand Central Terminal before being completely renovated by the architectural firm of Warren & Wetmore. The tall building on the right past the trolley is the Hotel Manhattan (demolished c. 1962 and replaced by Sperry Hutchinson Building in 1964). In the far background in the center is The New York Times Tower Building which was opened in 1906.

Note the street sweeper in the white uniform with a broom, that is almost as tall as he is under the bishops crook lamp post. These men were stationed all over the city to constantly clean up the streets because of the large number of horses that were used in daily life.  They were called The White-Wing Brigade because of their distinctive white uniforms. They were the creation of Colonel George E. Waring, who was named Department of Street Cleaning Commissioner in 1895. Waring instituted many positive changes in sanitation including regular trash collection and banning ocean dumping.

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