A 19th Century Mystery Building In New York City That Eludes Identification
Many times I’ll come across stereoviews of 19th century New York City that I have never seen before. Usually they are of buildings or scenes I am acquainted with either by name or written anecdote. But here is a a stereoview that leaves me stumped.
As you see, it is clearly labeled New York City & Vicinity. Beyond those words under the right panel of the view, there is no other information. I do not recognize the large building which is the stereoview’s centerpiece, the surrounding structures, or an approximate year it was taken.
Maybe the view was labeled incorrectly by the stereoview manufacturer (which I highly doubt) or it is a scene in the “vicinity” of New York. It is a mystery building and I have been unable to determine anything.
I usually search books and archives at my disposal to confirm the who, what, when and where of any New York conundrum. I have not done that because I don’t even know where to begin.
The viewpoint in the foreground looks like it may have been taken from an elevated station or somewhere along one of the elevated lines or even a pedestrian bridge. On the other hand it may not be any of those.
Architecturally my best guess is that the view dates from around 1870-1885. Clicking on the photo at left will bring up a magnified version.
Is there a reader who knows what building this is and provide evidence?
Until then, it remains a mystery building.
UPDATE FEB 2021
Thanks to SNCA reader Alan who identified the building as City Hospital’s southern building, at the junction of Duane & Church Street. The view is west on Duane from just west of Broadway,
Here is a different, sharper view of the building from the New York Public Library.