10 Postcard Views Of Fifth Avenue From 31st -59th Street
Let’s have a look at ritzy Fifth Avenue. All the postcards depict scenes from about 1900 – 1935. Fifth Avenue has a long association with wealth and privilege. Several of these postcards capture the shifting tide of commercial intrusion into a neighborhood once dominated by private residences.
As we look over the avenue, the one thing you will notice is how much traffic, both pedestrian and vehicular, increased after the 1920’s. We’ll start south and work our way north.
This photo postcard taken around 1915 is looking north on Fifth Avenue from 32nd Street. The turreted Waldorf-Astoria Hotel with its American flag raised on the roof is the focal point of this scene. There are no traffic signals to interrupt the vehicular traffic on the avenue. People cross the street with little difficulty as the traffic is light.
In just 20 years Fifth Avenue has changed dramatically. Looking south on Fifth Avenue from 34th Street in 1935, the Waldorf-Astoria is gone and the Empire State Building is in its place. The Empire State is directly behind the double deck Fifth Avenue bus. Pedestrian and vehicular traffic is substantial and in front of the bus a policeman deals with the congestion. Continue reading