New Year’s Eve Celebrations Of The Past, New York City 1906

Festivities In New York City On New Year’s Eve 1906

A couple of years ago we featured photos of Times Square and New Year’s celebrations from the 1950’s – 1960’s. This time we went back in time a bit further to New Year’s Eve 1906.

Probably something you never thought about: where else did New Yorkers celebrate New Year’s besides Times Square, which started drawing crowds in 1904 with the completion of the New York Times Tower Building?

The answer is all over the city at various churches, hotels, restaurants and clubs, with Trinity Church being a focal point for large crowds.

Seen below is the crowd outside of Trinity Church at Broadway and Wall Street on New Year’s Eve 1906 awaiting the arrival of 1907.

New Year's Eve 1907 outside Trinity Church

It proves again that celebrating the New Year has not changed that much over the years. People have always liked to congregate on New Year’s Eve in New York City even in freezing weather. It’s just that back then the majority of celebrants were New Yorkers, unlike today where many revelers are visiting from all over the globe.

Here is how the New York Tribune described the festivities that would occur throughout the city.


Indications Point to Greater Crowds and More Din than Ever.

Immense crowds will gather to-night In Broadway, both at Trinity Church and at Times Square, to watch the old year out and welcome the new year in with the din of tooting horns. Custom has made these annual gatherings a regular feature of city life, and the size of the crowds has increased year by year with the growth of the city. No matter what the weather may be, each New Year’s Eve sees large throngs in the streets.

To-night there will be added to the usual noise the ear-splitting screechings of some newly invented instrument which have been sold freely by street venders in the last week. It is expected, too, that the crowds will continue the hilarious swishing of feather dusters and the liberal throwing of confetti which became a craze at the last Coney Island festivals.

In anticipation of trouble in getting meals at the restaurants near Times Square late to-night, when the crowd is thickest, many persons have engaged seats at tables in advance, paying anywhere from $2 to $5 for a seat. All the restaurants in the neighborhood have made extra provision for a crush.

Over three thousand persons will have meals at the Hotel Astor to-night, many rooms having been set apart for the use of private dinner parties. In addition, the grand ballroom, the small ballroom, the college hall, the yacht rooms, the nimrod rooms and the art nouveau rooms, all on one floor, will be turned into a large Japanese garden for dining purposes. At midnight, by means of an electric light effect, 1906 will disappear in total darkness and the next moment 1907 will appear in the form of a maiden showering favors on the crowd from a cornucopia.

On the tower of the Times Building 1907 will blaze out in large electric lights at the stroke of midnight.  At the same time a searchlight of 500,000 candlepower will be turned on the crowds.

The chimes of old Trinity will ring before midnight, although the din will probably drown the sound of the bells. St. Andrew’s chimes, at Fifth avenue and 127th street will be rung from 11:45 p.m. until midnight. At the Church of St. John the Martyr, in East 72nd street, the chimes will be rung for half an hour before midnight.

The Authors’ Club will have a Watch Night meeting, beginning at 9:30 p.m., at which three veterans will give advice to young writers. There also will be songs and stories until midnight.

At Mott Memorial Hall, No. 64 Madison Avenue, the Blind Men’s Club will have a Watch Night meeting. The members will “see” the old year out playing chess and checkers and hearing a concert.

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