Tag Archives: Madison Avenue

Old New York In Photos #56

Manhattan Looking North & West From Madison Square Garden Tower – 1893

view North and west from Madison Square Garden Tower 1893This 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.

Scottish Rite Hall photo Kings Handbook of New YorkBesides 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 Continue reading

Marching In New York For Their Socialist Agenda May 1, 1934

May Day Parade 1934

May day parade Madison Ave May 1 1934 photo APWhile this may look like a group of Nazi women dressed like stormtroopers marching up Madison Avenue it is actually just a bunch of American socialists resembling the sieg heiling Nazi’s.

The original caption for this news photo reads as follows:

The Red Flag of Socialism

A general view of the parade of the Socialists up Madison Avenue in New York May 1.  A group of women Socialists carried red flags and sang and shouted as they marched. Parades were held throughout the city by various groups but there was no disorder of any kind. (Associated Press Photo 5-1-34)

In the first half of the 20th century, every May Day in New York would bring thousands of activists out into the streets to march and promulgate their ideas . Many were just plain old Socialists, however there would be smaller parades of Communists, anarchists, Industrial Workers of the World, or other labor groups who had a concern or cause.

In 1932, the Socialist party presidential candidate Norman Thomas received 884,895 votes, a little more than 2% of all ballots cast.

Mostly the May Day marches in New York Continue reading

Banning Cars On City Streets In Manhattan – Not A New Idea

Fifth Avenue – Sans Cars 1970

The Story Of Mayor John Lindsay’s Pedestrian Malls

Top photo shows 5th Ave. on a typical day. Bottom photo shows 5th Ave. on July 11, 1970

Top photo shows 5th Ave. on a typical day. Bottom shows 5th Ave. on July 11, 1970 as traffic was cleared

While many environmental and safety groups bandy about various schemes for making streets safer for pedestrians by removing or limiting cars from city streets, the idea is older than you might think.

During his tenure as mayor of New York City from 1966-1973, John Lindsay always favored pedestrians.

Lindsay’s initial ban of cars took place in May of 1969. Lindsay and the city closed a small area of Nassau Street in downtown Manhattan as part of a temporary 90 day experiment during lunch hour from 11 A.M. to 2 P.M..

After 90 days Lindsay declared the “experimental” closure permanent.

The next year on April 22, 1970 the city closed some streets for the first Earth Day.

It’s one thing to shut down a narrow street in the financial district or some larger streets for a special occasion like Earth Day, it’s quite another to ban cars in the heart of New York’s shopping district.

Lindsay’s bigger plans came to fruition, also as an experiment, 44 years ago on Saturday, July 11, 1970. Lindsay closed vehicular traffic from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., on a fifteen block stretch on Fifth Avenue from 42nd through 57th Streets.

The day before the experiment Mayor Lindsay said, “New Yorker’s should enjoy the most beautiful and exciting street when it becomes a pedestrian mall.”

This would also be different because the merchants along Fifth Avenue were not enamored with the idea. It was the first concerted effort by city officials to see the impact of a traffic closure on a major New York City street and observe the effects on noise, air quality and more importantly, quality of life. Continue reading

Madison Square In A Vintage Painting

Paul Cornoyer Madison Square in the Afternoon – 1910

Paul Cornoyer (1864-1923) was an impressionist painter who worked primarily in New York City. This beautiful scene was painted in 1910 and is looking east across Madison Square Park, towards the tower of Madison Square Garden.

Madison Square Garden was built in 1890 by McKim, Mead & White, and took up the whole block from 26th to 27th streets between Madison and Park Avenues. Madison Square Garden was demolished in 1926 to make way for the New York Life Building.

Old New York in Photos #7

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 Residence 7 East 73rd Street

Louis Tiffany’s home was built starting in 1882 by his father Charles Tiffany, but the elder Tiffany never lived there. The 57 room mansion took three years to complete.

Right around the corner, Joseph Pulitzer, owner of The New York World newspaper also hired the architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White in 1900 to build his home which was completed in 1903.

Pulitzer lived in the house Continue reading