Manhattan Looking North & West From Madison Square Garden Tower – 1893
This photograph taken by the firm of H.N. Tiemann shows the emerging profile of New York around 1893. The tallest structures visible are mostly steeples of the many churches that are spread throughout Manhattan.
We are looking north and west from 26th Street between Fourth and Madison Avenues from the tower of Madison Square Garden, designed by architectural giants McKim, Mead & White in 1890.
Besides churches, there are two buildings that are prominent in the photo. One was a former church, in the center lower portion of the image, the Scottish Rite Hall with the steeple tower at the corner of 29th Street and Madison Avenue. The building formerly housed Rutgers Reformed Presbyterian Church. The church built a new building at 73rd Street and Broadway enabling the trustees in 1887 to sell their Madison Avenue edifice to the representatives of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.
Scottish Rite Hall lasted only until 1902 when it was demolished and the Hotel Seville went up in its place. The hotel is still in business today and operated as the Hotel Carlton.
The building with the turret on the corner of Madison Avenue and 28th Street, adjacent to Scottish Rite Hall, is an expensive eight story apartment building, 80 Madison Avenue.
The other significant tall building, the Hotel Waldorf at 33rd Street and Fifth Avenue is in the middle of the picture slightly towards the left. In 1897 the Astoria Hotel went up next door to the Waldorf and the two hotels combined to form the Waldorf-Astoria.
The world famous hostelry remained on the site until 1929 when it moved uptown to its current location on Park Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets. The old hotel was replaced by another world famous landmark, the Empire State Building, completed in 1931.