The Financial District, the South Street Seaport, the Manhattan Civic Center and more. Lower Manhattan the way it was. Hundreds of photos lower Manhattan from an era gone by. Includes popular downtown favorites such as the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, Wall Street, and the Stock Exchange. Dating from the late 1800s to the early 1900s, these historical images document lower Manhattan’s street life, residents, and buildings. Perfect wall décor for your office or apartment in Lower Manhattan. For help sourcing an image from our extensive collection call 888-250-8956.
Sun sets over New York City, and the city begins to glow with its own light. The spires of the Lower Manhattan skyscrapers, including the Cities Services Building and the Woolworth Building, can be seen beyond the Brooklyn Tower of the Brooklyn Bridge. The skyline of today would not be extremely different. Most notable, perhaps, is the absence of lights coming from the South Street Seaport, which in 1956 was not a tourist destination, but a working fish market.
Ironworkers take a lunch break high above Lower Manhattan atop a partially constructed skyscraper. These brave men seem never to have even heard the word harness. Many of the ironworkers who built the skyscrapers of New York City were Native Americans, predominantly of the Mohawk tribe.
Messengers at the end of the trading day on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange write down orders. The floor surrounding station number four is littered with slips of paper. Aside from the three young men working overtime, the cathedral of commerce looks entirely deserted.
This photo shows curb market activity on Broad Street in front of the New York Stock Exchange. This sea of men and boys are relegated to the street to serve companies too small to be listed on the NYSE. At the end of Broad Street is Federal Hall, which is today a museum.
A boy in a window on Broad Street signals between a broker on the street and the office. Curb exchanges catered to the needs of companies too small to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Such alternative exchanges eventually grew up to be organizations like the AMEX and NASDAQ.
This view of the Lower Manhattan Skyline from the walkway of the Brooklyn Bridge is enhanced by the geometrics of the steel support cables and lattice. The cables themselves were, in part, made from inferior wire that a subcontractor snuck into the project. Rather than remove them, Chief Engineer Roebling let them stay, reasoning that the bridge would now be only four times stronger than it needed to be rather than six.
Pedestrians stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge toward the Park Row Terminal, flanked by an Manhattan-bound train on their right. Beyond the train, City Hall looms in the background, and to the far left the Woolworth Building juts at the sky. Streetcars as well as the BMT rail line ran over the Brooklyn Bridge until around the middle of the last century.
The street vendor is a great New York City tradition. Here, a couple of Wall Streeters grab a quick snack at lunch hour from a pretzel vendor at the corner of Broadway and Beaver St.
In this aerial view of Lower Manhattan, the top of the Woolworth Building peeks through the clouds. At 792 feet, the Woolworth Building, designed by architect Gilbert Cass, overtook the Metropolitan Life Tower as the world's tallest building when it opened in 1913. It is still one of the twenty tallest in New York City.
United States Navy Airships float over the Lower Manhattan skyline. The view of this era presents a far different picture than the one of today. Most of the piers that you see here are gone now. Even the shape of Manhattan has changed, with the western shore of the island being extended out into the Hudson River with the landfill from the excavation of the World Trade Center.