Lower Manhattan As Seen From The Brooklyn Bridge Tower – c. 1905
This unusual view was taken from the top of the New York tower of the Brooklyn Bridge around 1905. Lower Manhattan is in transition from low rise buildings to the ever increasing number of skyscrapers dotting the landscape.
We see smoke rising from many chimneys. Elevated trains make their way across the Brooklyn Bridge while many pedestrians use the bridge’s center walkway.
Near the waterfront atop a building, the Uneeda Biscuit Company billboard is conspicuously advertising one of the most popular turn-of-the-century brands right next to the heavily trafficked bridge.
At the end of the bridge on Park Row, the four and a half story shed structure is the transportation center also called the terminal shed, where commuters embarked or disembarked to other mass transit options: trolleys and elevated train lines. Each end of the Brooklyn Bridge had one of these sheds.
The Park Row elevated train station can be seen to the left of the shed in this postcard from about the same period as our photo.
In 1941 The New York Herald-Tribune proclaimed the transportation center sheds were, “New York’s most striking examples of ugly architecture. The structures give the Brooklyn Bridge the poorest approaches of any bridge in the city. The Manhattan shed detracts from the appearance of City Hall Park.” After repeated calls by city officials the shed was demolished in the 1940s.
The other tall buildings in the photo to the left of the transportation center are all part of newspaper row on Park Row. They are from right to left: The World or Pulitzer Building (with the dome), The New York Tribune Building and The New York Times Building and The Potter Building.