Old New York In Photos #119 – View From The Roof Of The Flatiron Building c. 1910

The View From The Roof Of The Flatiron Building c. 1910

Madison Square From Flatiron Building Keystone-Mast Collection, UCR/California Museum of Photography, University of California at RiversideNew York photographers around the turn-of-the-century were always looking for unique vantage points to shoot from.

Here the Keystone Co. photographer went up to the roof of the Flatiron Building and took this shot around 1910. The gentleman in the foreground could be the photographer’s assistant. As the intrepid hatless man dangles his legs over the edge of the roof, we see the northeast cityscape.

A Good View Of The Buildings Along Lower Madison Avenue

In the foreground the trees of Madison Square Park can be seen. To the extreme right on Madison Avenue is the Metropolitan Life Building, the tallest building in the world from 1909-1913.

Next in our photo the building with the dome is the new Madison Square Presbyterian Church.

Metropolitan Life acquired the original Madison Square Presbyterian Church on the southeast corner of 24th Street in 1903 intending to build their new skyscraper. In 1904 architects, McKim, Mead & White designed a beautiful new church “in the early Christian style with a Byzantine interior,” on the northeast corner of 24th Street.

The congregation and its anti-corruption, social reform pastor Dr. Henry Parkhurst moved into their new home in 1906. The church was awarded the Gold Medal of Honor by the American Institute of Architects.

Yet only 13 years later this masterpiece was gone. Once again, Metropolitan Life expanding their holdings bought the church and demolished it in 1919 .

On the northeast corner of 25th Street is the three story Appellate Division Courthouse of New York State. The courthouse is still in use and is a New York City Landmark.

Taking up the entire block from 26th to 27th Street the building with the tower, inspired by the Giralda at Seville, is McKim, Mead & White’s Madison Square Garden. Architect Stanford White was murdered here in 1906. The building was demolished in 1925.

Finally in the distance are the towers of the Queensboro Bridge.

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