Cortlandt Street 1908 via Detroit Publishing Co. collection held at the Library of Congress. (click to greatly enlarge)
Our view made by the Detroit Publishing Company is looking east from the corner of West Street along Cortlandt Street towards Broadway. Unlike some of their photographs, this one is copyrighted 1908 and that can be confirmed by advertising in the background.
The street is named after one of Dutch New York’s leaders Oloff (Olaf) Stevense Van Cortlandt. Continue reading →
Our 1875 view is looking north on Fourth Avenue to 42nd Street. The street is packed with activity including horse drawn omnibuses, delivery wagons and pedestrians.
This albertype photograph prominently shows the first Grand Central built by railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt. Designed in the Second Empire style by architect John B. Snook, the depot was built between 1869 and 1871.
Was New York’s Prince Street’s Name Derived From Royalty?
Some of the original names given to the streets of New York when under Dutch and English rule have survived to the present day.
Many streets owe their name to local landmarks or the aristocracy and heroes of 17th and 18th century New York, including Delancey Street, Duane Street and Houston Street named after James De Lancey, James Duane and William Houstoun. Continue reading →
A Group Of New York Bootblacks At City Hall Park – July 1863
A group of eight bootblack boys line up near City Hall for this stereoview photograph.
Taken by the pioneering stereoview firm of E. & H.T. Anthony of 501 Broadway, the view is entitled, “Brigade Of De Shoe Black, City Hall Park.” There is no date attached to the photo, yet, the timing of this photograph is of historical significance. How do we know?
The fence behind the boys is covered with broadsheets advertising several theatrical productions.
From the information on the advertisements we can narrow down the date the photo is from. Continue reading →
A Panoramic View of Lower Manhattan Including The Unbuilt Brooklyn Bridge
Our view is from the November 19, 1870 Harper’s Weekly. Entitled, “Bird’s-eye view of the southern end of New York and Brooklyn showing the projected suspension bridge and East River from the western terminus in printing house square, New York.”
That long title reflects a fairly accurate view of New York, Brooklyn and surrounding area drawn by Theodore R Davis. Marine traffic crowds the river and piers with ferries, paddle-wheelers, steamships, schooners and sloops of all descriptions. The building of the bridge would slightly alleviate this nautical congestion.
The New York Crystal Palace Gave Americans A Building To Be Proud Of
On the site of the future Bryant Park on 42nd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues stood The New York Crystal Palace. It was only there for a little more than five years. Built of cast iron, timber and glass the building was unlike anything previously built in America.
Edwin G. Burrows book, “The Finest Building in America The New York Crystal Palace 1853-1858” Oxford; (2018), is a short, entertaining account of the impact the building and the wonders displayed inside, had on the city. Continue reading →
When you say the words “old New York” a monochrome picture may materialize within you. What is old? It depends how old you are. To many people under the age of 40, the 1950s is considered ancient. To modern eyes, the 1950s was a black and white world because most movies were still not made in color and television sets were black and white.
So when you see the old Kodak Kodachrome moments, the pre-1960 vibrant colors still deliver a wow effect.
1950s scenes around New York
At Foley Square where the buildings house the local, state and federal government agencies.
Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village marks the beginning of Fifth Avenue. Continue reading →
New York Celebrates The Washington Centennial 1889
Horse drawn floats make their way through Union Square celebrating the Washington Centennial in New York City May 1, 1889 – illustration Harper’s Weekly May 11, 1889
For the first year and a half while President, George Washington was a New Yorker. Washington took the oath of office in New York City in 1789 and lived at 3 Cherry Street during his Presidency until 1790 when he moved to Philadelphia. Vice -President John Adams lived at 133 Broadway. Congress met in New York and the city was the center of the Federal government. Continue reading →
Before Automobiles, Runaway Horses Caused New York’s Traffic Accidents
Runaway on the Brooklyn side of the East River Bridge – drawn by John Durkin (Harper’s Weekly March 15, 1890)
Horses are a rarity on New York Streets. In 1890 there were tens of thousands of horses supplying transportation to the city.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is not a fan of horse drawn vehicles. Since his election in 2014 de Blasio has been inundated by animal activists to ban Central Park’s carriage horses. His efforts to do so have only removed the horses from waiting for customers outside the park. Continue reading →