Is This Some Rural Area in Upstate New York?
A logging community possibly? Actually it is Fifth Avenue and 101st Street. These are squatters huts in Central Park circa 1870.
Six Views of New York by Luigi Kasimir
In 2000 and 2001 Swann Galleries (a New York auction house) held New York City auctions. All the items: books, posters, maps, ephemera, photographs, prints and art were related to the city. It was a great concept that they discontinued after 2001. It was at these auctions where I first encountered the art work of Luigi Kasimir.
Kasimir was born in 1881 in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire and later came to New York where he repeatedly captured the architectural sights of the city. Today, Kasimir is best known for his detailed etchings, many of which were done in color, which apparently was not the norm for early 20th century etchings. The New York Times distinguished Kasimir from other etchers of the time at a contemporary exhibition in 1926 by referring to him as a “colorist.” Continue reading
The west side of Fifth Avenue between 23rd and 24th streets had been country land well into the middle of the 19th century. The land for many years had been occupied by a quaint tavern and horse changing station.
On this site in March 1853, Henri Franconi, a European from a long line of equestrian performers, arranged with investors to have an amphitheater built which was then called Franconi’s Hippodrome. This precursor of the modern day circus with performers, animals and chariot races was housed in a large structure shaped like an ellipse and was 338 feet by 196 1/2 feet that could seat 10,000 people and was covered by a red, white and blue canvas supported by a center pole 70 feet in height and a circle of smaller poles 40 feet in height.
It opened on Monday, May 2, 1853, and The New York Daily Times was not impressed with the class of people attending the Hippodrome shows. Attendees they said “…were blacklegs, gamblers, rowdies, and the miscellanea of polite roguery and blackguardism.” The reporter added “The Hippodrome is badly conducted and Continue reading
Two Homes With Different Fates
The Louis Comfort Tiffany Mansion (above) circa 1886 at the corner of 72nd Street and Madison Avenue designed by McKim, Mead & White.
The Joseph Pulitzer Mansion (below) 1903 at 7 East 73rd Street (just off of Fifth Avenue) designed by Stanford White of McKim, Mead & White.
Pulitzer lived in the house Continue reading
The Prices of Fancy New York Apartments and Where You Could Live on a Decent Salary
As I continue to look through the Sunday October 10, 1926 New York Times real estate section, I wanted to get a better understanding of what a dollar could buy when it came to apartments.
First I did some income research.
According to FRASER (the Federal Reserve Archival System for Economic Research) , a little over 4 million individual tax returns were filed in 1926.
The average net income on those returns was $5,306.43.
The average amount of tax liability was – get this – only $176.11!
So you might think that everyone was doing Continue reading
Early Birdseye View of New York 1888
Looking North up Fifth Avenue from 52nd Street.
Church steeples are among the tallest structures in the photo. The closest steeple belongs to the original St. Thomas Episcopal Church on Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street, which was destroyed by fire in 1905. The new St. Thomas was completed in 1913. The steeple two blocks north belongs to the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church at 55th Street, which was completed in 1875 and is still standing today.
Mansions line Fifth Avenue, as this section of Manhattan had not been encroached by the tide of merchants who were steadily creeping north with commercial developments.
In the center of the photo past the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church are the trees of Central Park. On the left of the photo the tall building on near Sixth Avenue and 59th Street, lining up with the center of the park, is the luxury duplex apartment building The Dalhousie. Opened for occupancy in October 1884, The Dalhousie was demolished in 1930 and replaced by a modern apartment building in 1941. In the upper left hand corner the light colored tall building in the distance is the Henry Janeway Hardenbergh designed Dakota Apartments.
A Short Postcard Tour Around New York circa 1900-1915 Part 1
How much has New York City changed? If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a postcard worth? These are all about 100 years old. Let’s start with these five views. We’ll be doing this feature regularly.
Park Row showing The Old Post Office looking southwest 1900