Tag Archives: Park Avenue

Old New York In Photos #111 – Grand Central Depot 1875

The Original Grand Central Depot 1875

Grand Central Depot 1875 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.

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Old New York In Photos #85 – 42nd Street From The 3rd Avenue Elevated 1887

42nd Street Looking West From 3rd Avenue Towards Grand Central 1887

This albumen photograph was taken in 1887 by Willis Knowlton who had his studio at 335 Fourth Avenue.

Knowlton set up his camera from the 42nd Street station of the Third Avenue Elevated looking west towards Grand Central Station. If you’re thinking, “wait a minute, why are there elevated tracks running west towards Grand Central?” The answer is, this connecting spur was in place between 1878 and 1923, taking commuters to and from Grand Central directly to the Third Avenue El. As practical as the connection was for the 15,000 daily riders still using it in 1923, the city’s Board of Estimate ordered its removal in October of that year. The IRT complied and the spur was closed at midnight December 6, 1923 and the tracks and station were demolished soon afterwards.

A little about the buildings seen in this photograph. Running along the northern (right) portion of 42nd Street at 145-147 East 42nd Continue reading

Look What The Cops Caught In Times Square – 1935

75 Cattle Get Off A Boat In Manhattan, 3 Decide To Take A Tour Of The City Instead of Going To The Slaughterhouse

After A Chase Through Midtown Manhattan – Cops Catch An Elusive Steer In Times Square

It’s not a rodeo, but a policeman uses a lasso to catch a runaway steer in Times Square. photo: Acme 9/3/1935

It was little before 6 a.m. on Tuesday, September 3, 1935. Labor Day weekend had just ended. The city was stirring back to life to begin a normal work week. At an East River dock on 45th Street, a boat was unloading its cargo, 75 head of cattle, all headed to the nearby slaughterhouse.

72 cattle headed a half-block away to Wilson & Company. Three adventurous cattle decided to take a tour of the city rather than be turned into steaks and cutlets. Continue reading

A Visit To The New York City Book and Ephemera Fair

Three Antiquarian Book Shows In New York City This Weekend – A Quick Look At The Newest One

A view of the floor of the New York City Book and Ephemera Fair  - Wallace Hall St. Ignatius Loyola Church April 11, 2015

A view of the floor of the New York City Book and Ephemera Fair – Wallace Hall St. Ignatius Loyola Church April 11, 2015

With book lovers from all over the world descending upon New York York City for the ABAA’s New York Antiquarian Book Fair from April 9 -12 2015, two satellite shows containing about 50 dealers each displayed their wares at nearby locations.

Display of fine books at the New York City Book and Ephemera Fair

Display of fine books at the New York City Book and Ephemera Fair

So this morning I had a chance to check out one of the shows The New York City Book and Ephemera Fair, at a location that to my knowledge has never held a book show; Wallace Hall at St. Ignatius Loyola Church on Park Ave and 84th Street.

The show produced by Marvin Getman, was well lit, spacious and chock full of top book dealers from all over the country and Canada.

Many dealers seemed happy with the turnout and for a $15 admission fee the public was able to see some high quality books at mostly affordable prices.

The display case of Wiggins Fine Books, Shelburne Falls, MA

The display case of Wiggins Fine Books, Shelburne Falls, MA

The selection was wide, ranging from signed and first editions to ephemeral early punk rock magazines to science fiction classics to incunabula.

Several dealers featured art, photography and architecture books which seemed to moving briskly.

Children’s books were carried by many dealers and selling for fair prices. A first edition A Pocket for Corduroy a classic by Don Freeman with the dustjacket was offered at $600. Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #41 – Park Avenue & 51st Street 1889

Park Avenue And 51st Street 1889

Park Avenue 51st St looking north 1889

In 1886 what had been unglamorous Fourth Avenue above 42nd Street was renamed Park Avenue. This mix of 19th century modernity and bleak landscape is Park Avenue looking north from 51st Street in 1889. You would be hard pressed to find a time today when this busy intersection of New York would be so deserted. There is little activity besides a lone horse and cart on the right side of the incline by the tunnel and a ghostly man in a derby by a boulder in the lower portion of the photograph.

Commodore Vanderbilt reluctantly covered the tracks used by his New York Central & Hudson and New York & Harlem Railroads along Park Avenue from 58th through 99th Streets between 1872-1875. This improvement opened up building possibilities in what had been an undesirable stretch of land with noisy and polluted streets. But from 56th Street to Grand Central Depot at 42nd Street, the tracks had an open cut as seen here. The railroad tracks remained that way until they were finally covered in 1914.

The main building on the right in this photograph is Steinway & Sons Piano Forte  finishing factory, which occupied the entire block on Park Avenue from 52nd to 53rd Streets. According to King’s Handbook of New York City (1892) “There, 500 workmen plain, saw, join, drill, turn, string, fit, varnish and tune the piano works and cases received from the 600 workmen of Steinway, Astoria.”

The Steinway Factory Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #36 – Grand Central 1909

Grand Central Station – 1909

Grand Central Terminal 1909 Acme

We are looking north on Park Avenue from 41st Street towards Grand Central Station. Grand Central became a “terminal” (end of the line) in 1913 with the completion of the current facility. When passengers disembarked they could hop on the elevated line shuttle which connected Grand Central at 42nd Street with the Third Avenue elevated or go on any one of the many trolley lines as seen in the photograph.

The caption for this 1960 AP News Features photograph showing Grand Central in 1909 says:

Once She Was A Lady

Grand Central Station in 1909 plainly was a bustling rail center – but nothing like what it is today. A $100 million skyscraper is going up on the venerable Park Avenue matron’s back, and the problem of building it reach deep under the terminal’s 48 acres. The new building will be finished in 1962.  Credit-  AP Newsfeatures 11-17-1960

The building the caption is referring to is the Pan Am Building (now known as the MetLife Building) at 200 Park Avenue designed by architects Emery Roth & Sons, Walter Gropius and Pietro Belluschi. Completed in 1962 and opened in 1963, the 59 story building remains an ugly boxy behemoth marring the New York City skyline.

The Cost of Living in Manhattan Apartments – 1926

The Prices of Fancy New York  Apartments and Where You Could Live on a Decent Salary

As I continue to look through the Sunday October 10, 1926 New York Times real estate section, I wanted to get a better understanding of what a dollar could buy when it came to apartments.

First I did some income research.

According to FRASER (the Federal Reserve Archival System for Economic Research) , a little over 4 million individual tax returns were filed in 1926.

The average net income on those returns was $5,306.43.

The average amount of tax liability was – get this – only $176.11!

So you might think that everyone was doing Continue reading

Old New York in Photos #4 – Park Avenue

Park Avenue – 1935

For a brief period there was a park in the middle of Park Avenue. This is not it. When road lanes were widened in the 1920’s the pedestrian plaza with benches were removed and replaced with a park like median which is surrounded by fencing and has no public access.

Looking north from around 38th street, Grand Central Terminal is in the middle of this photograph and behind it is the New York Central Building (currently called the Helmsley Building.) Continue reading