Tag Archives: The Boulevard

Old New York In Photos #79 – Broadway & 79th Street c. 1890

This Pastoral Scene Is Broadway and 79th Street

While the quality of this photograph is far from perfect, we thought it was unusual enough to share.

With laundry hanging off a clothesline, a horse grazing near the front door of a tree filled yard, this bucolic area is Bloomingdale, near the corner of the Boulevard and 79th Street. At least that is what is written on the back of the circa 1890 photo.

As you may know, The Boulevard was the continuation of Broadway above 59th Street.

Robinson’s Atlas of New York City 1885

Checking Robinson’s Atlas of New York City from 1885, I’ve tried to figure out where this house stood and what direction the photograph was taken from.

The atlas key is as follows: structures shaded in yellow are made of wood, pink are brick and brown are stone. We can see our three story house is made of wood. In the background on the right there is another building. But which of these buildings fits the description?

The authoritative book on the Bloomingdale area (the Dutch name for Valley of the Flowers) is The New York of Yesterday (1908) by Hopper Striker Mott. According to Mott, the house that was nearest that site was the van den Heuvel homestead a two story stone and wood home built approximately in 1759.

The end is near for the former van den Heuvel / Burnham mansion c. 1905 photo: Robert Bracklow NYHS

Sometime in the early 19th century the van den Heuvel home had an additional story added after a fire destroyed the original slanted roof. Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #49

Broadway & 80th Street 1898 and 1928

What A Difference 30 Years Makes

Broadway 80th 81st Street 1898 photo H. N. Tiemann

Broadway looking north and west between 80th & 81st Streets. 1898 photo: H.N. Tiemann

Up until the late 1800’s Broadway above 59th Street still retained much of its sleepy Dutch ways and was still called the Boulevard which followed the course of the Old Bloomingdale Road. The upper west side neighborhoods had their own unique character which were based upon the villages of Harsenville, Striker’s Bay, Bloomingdale and Manhattanville.

In the photo above from 1898 we see the Boulevard looking north and west from 80th Street with horses lined up along the curb. Building is sparse with low profile two and three story buildings. Commercial structures might contain blacksmith’s, grocery shops and tailors. Open land and farms were still nearby. In thirty years the change would be striking.

Land speculation and the coming of the subway would end the ruralness of the area.

Broadway 80th 81st Street 1928 photo H. N. Tiemann

Broadway looking north and west between 80th & 81st Streets. 1928 photo: H.N. Tiemann

This photograph taken in 1928 from the median of Broadway and 80th Street and looking in the same direction as the previous photo shows that almost everything from 1898 has vanished.

We see automobiles, but no horses. The trees that lined the street are gone and there is quite a bit of pedestrian activity along the street. Commercial stores line Broadway and 80th Street to the west and the north. The white building in the foreground is still standing today and now contains Zabar’s.

Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #26

Two Old Views of Broadway, Bordering Washington Heights

Broadway 153rd Broadway 158th Church of the Intercession

These rural looking scenes are of The Boulevard, now known as Broadway taken around 1895. On the left is Broadway and 153rd Street and on the right, Broadway and 158th Street.

At Broadway between 153rd and 154th Street was the approximate site of Washington’s second fortification of entrenchments in the Battle of Manhattan during the Revolutionary War in 1776.

On the western corner of Broadway and 158th Streets stood the second building of the Church of the Intercession. The congregation moved into their larger, current building at Broadway and 155th Street in 1915.

Old New York in Photos #20

The Boulevard Looking South From 104th Street

Looking at this tree filled landscape it is hard to believe this is New York City. This idyllic scene was photographed on the morning of July 4, 1888. Until 1899, Broadway above 59th Street was known as The Boulevard.

As you can see, upper Manhattan was still mostly undeveloped in the late 19th century. Besides two carriages in the foreground on the left at 104th Street and a couple of carriages in the background, there is no visible activity happening on the upper west side of Manhattan on our nation’s 112th birthday. Note the horse drawn carriage tracks extending southward in the lower right hand corner of the photo. During the next 15 years, this area would undergo dramatic transformation with the construction of many apartment buildings.