10 Things About New York in 1892 That You Didn’t Know

From An 1892 Guidebook – 10 Things You Didn’t Know About New York

14th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in 1892 photo: KIng’s Handbook of New York

The old New York City guidebooks always contain interesting information. These facts are from an 1892 guide.

The New York Post Office handled over 600,000,000 pieces of mail matter annually. That may not be so amazing. What is amazing is that they had an annual profit of $3 million dollars!

Trinity Church is part of Trinity Parish. The Parish was the richest in America. Income from its real estate and other holdings amounted to over $500,000 annually

It was free to walk over the 9-year-old Brooklyn Bridge. Vehicles had to pay a toll of 3 cents each way.

At Centre and Franklin Streets stood the City Prison, better known as The Tombs, because of the architectural resemblance to Egyptian tombs. Before the death by electrocution law went into effect in 1889, all condemned murderers sentenced to death by the New York courts were executed in the Tombs.

Before Andrew Carnegie built his famous mansion on Fifth Avenue and 91st Street he lived at 5 West 51st Street.

Carnegie’s neighbor across the street  at 12 West 51st Street was former President Grover Cleveland.

The New York Stock Exchange had active trading on Saturday’s.

At 30 Wall Street adjacent to the Sub-Treasury where the statue of George Washington still stands, was the Assay Office. This was the oldest building on Wall Street and visitors were admitted from 10 am – 2 pm. What did they see? About $50 million in gold bricks stacked up.

Canal Street was considered a dangerous area and a center of vice with the Bowery, Little Italy and Chinatown all intersecting with it.

Same as today, anyone could hire an open carriage stationed outside Central Park. You could be taken around the entire park and stop at as many points as you wish. The cost? 25 cents.

Source: The New York Recorder’s Columbian Celebration Guide Book of New York and Vicinity Telling the Chief Points of Interest and How To Reach Them Issued With The New York Recorder Tuesday October 11, 1892

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