Old New York In Photos #53

Broadway 1875

Broadway looking South Astor House 1875 publisher ThorneThis great view of Broadway looking south from Park Place was taken in 1875 by Thorne & Co. publishers of New York City views. With evidence from the shadows and with virtually no street traffic and few pedestrians, this photo apparently was taken early on a Sunday morning.

On the right hand side of the photo we see a couple of five story commercial buildings populated with local businesses offering sales including a clothing store, a jeweler and a toy distributor. One sign on the side of the stairs offers soda for a nickel.

The next building taking up the entire west side of Broadway from Barclay to Vesey Streets is the Astor House Hotel. Beyond the Astor House is St. Paul’s Chapel, followed by the recently completed Western Union Building. Further in the distance you can see the spire of Trinity Church.

On the left side we can partially see the columns of the new main Post Office.  Slightly obscured by the gaslight is a large sign for Dennison’s Tags. Dennison’s was a stationer who also manufactured buttons and tags, their offices were located at 198 Broadway directly across from Astor House. The strange sign seemingly hovering in the street is when you enlarge the photo is a sign in the shape of a hat for the famous “Knox the Hatter.” Charles Knox had one of his stores located at 212 Broadway. Charles’ son Edward ran the uptown store at 533 Broadway.

At Ann Street and Broadway the ornate building with its entrance on an angle facing the street is the old New York Herald Building. It was demolished in 1895 and in its place the St. Paul Building went up.

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