Old New York In Photos #70 – 59th Street Central Park – 1903

59th Street, Fifth Avenue & Central Park On a Snowy Day – 1903

central-park-december-1903-from-burr-mcintoshThis panoramic view looking west from 5th Avenue of 59th Street, also known as Central Park South, was published in December 1903 by a theatrical magazine, Burr McIntosh monthly. Unless you’ve seen that issue of the magazine (unlikely) this view has remained unseen for the last 113 years.

A snowy day means light pedestrian and vehicular traffic. A few horse drawn vehicles are braving the elements, while a handful of pedestrians go about their business.

The building In the upper left corner on the south side of 59th Street is John D. Phyfe and James Campbell’s New Plaza Hotel (the original Plaza Hotel) built 1885-1890.

Phyfe and Campbell ended up losing the hotel in foreclosure before it was completed and it was purchased on September 18, 1888 by the New-York Life Insurance Co. for the bargain price of $925,000.

The architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White were hired to remodel the hotel and it opened in 1890, only to be torn down in 1905 to make way for the current Plaza Hotel now sitting on the site.

On the extreme right a small portion of the Hotel New Netherland can be glimpsed. The hotel was demolished in 1927 and replaced by the current Sherry Netherland Hotel.

A trolley makes its way across 59th Street. Central Park is seen with its wide expanse of snow covered trees.  This area known as “the Plaza” marks one of Central Park’s main entrances.

Today, this area around Central Park is crowded with tourists and horse drawn carriages catering to anyone who wants to have the throwback experience of leisurely travel by horse & carriage.

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