Independence Day In New York Watching The Regatta 1860
July 4, 1860 regatta at The Battery. photo: Anthony
Patriotism, Parades and Pyrotechnics
In 1860 a year before the nation was split into two warring factions, New Yorkers celebrated the 84th anniversary of Independence Day in glorious fashion.
The day proliferated with excursions, theatricals, balloon ascensions, salutes, military parades, fireworks and – a regatta.
Regatta derives from Venetian, meaning a contention for mastery or contest. The New York regatta held on July 4 was a series of rowed and sailed boat races held near Castle Clinton at The Battery in New York bay.
All of the photographs seen here were taken by the firm of E. & H.T. Anthony as stereoviews. Continue reading →
Bridge Of Sighs Connects The Tombs and Criminal Courthouse- c. 1905
We are looking west from Centre Street to Franklin Street. Spanning Franklin Street is the Bridge of Sighs connecting the Manhattan Criminal Courts Building to the City Prison also known as The Tombs.
The name Bridge of Sighs comes from a bridge built in 1600 in Venice, Italy connecting the Doge’s Palace and the New Prison. The dubious story is that prisoners being transported from interrogation at the Doge’s Palace to prison would sigh when crossing the bridge upon seeing beautiful Venice.
The origin of the name “The Tombs” is tainted in apocrypha. Old prison guards at the original tombs building claimed that when the building first opened so many inmates committed suicide while in confinement that the prison was nicknamed The Tombs.
Original Tombs prison in 1895, Criminal Courts Building in background
Times Square 1906 – The New Hotel Astor, Olympia Theatre & Surroundings
This stereoview image of Times Square was taken by the H.C. White Company in 1906. Before The New York Times moved their headquarters here it was called Long Acre Square.
The view is titled, “New Astor Hotel and 20 story Times Building.” We are looking south from 46th Street towards the New York Times Tower. The flatiron-style building opened in 1905. The building was mutilated in 1965 when purchased by Allied Chemical. Today it is unrecognizable after it was altered again in the twenty first century to become a giant garish billboard.
On the right is the 500 room Hotel Astor comprising 14 city lots from 44th to 45th Street where Broadway and Seventh Avenue intersect. The 10-story Hotel Astor cost owner William Waldorf Astor over $7 million to build and furnish. The land was purchased decades earlier as farmland by his great-grandfather John Jacob Astor for $100 an acre. The Grand Ballroom was a baroque masterpiece.
The View From The Roof Of The Flatiron Building c. 1910
New York photographers around the turn-of-the-century were always looking for unique vantage points to shoot from.
Here the Keystone Co. photographer went up to the roof of the Flatiron Building and took this shot around 1910. The gentleman in the foreground could be the photographer’s assistant. As the intrepid hatless man dangles his legs over the edge of the roof, we see the northeast cityscape.
A Good View Of The Buildings Along Lower Madison Avenue
In the foreground the trees of Madison Square Park can be seen. To the extreme right on Madison Avenue is the Metropolitan Life Building, the tallest building in the world from 1909-1913.
Next in our photo the building with the dome is the new Madison Square Presbyterian Church.
Metropolitan Life acquired the original Madison Square Presbyterian Church on the southeast corner of 24th Street in 1903 intending to build their new skyscraper Continue reading →