New York City

Southwest Overview of Pennsylvania Station, 1910

Southwest Overview of Pennsylvania Station, 1910

In 1910, New York City opened its Temple of Transportation. In this photograph, taken shortly after the opening of Pennsylvania Station, we can see McKim, Mead & White's neo-classical monument in all its glory. Covering more than 7 acres, Penn Station was the largest indoor space in New York City and one of the largest public spaces in the world.

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Eighth Avenue and Bleecker Street, 1908

Eighth Avenue and Bleecker Street, 1908

In this 1908 black and white photo, a horsecar (a streetcar pulled by horses) passes Abingdon Square Park. The park is one of the oldest in New York City, the quarter-acre plot it's on having been acquired by the city in 1831. The southern tip of the triangular green-space is at the intersection of Bleecker Street and Eighth Avenue or Abingdon Square.

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The Boulevard on a Rainy Day, c. 1899

The Boulevard on a Rainy Day, c. 1899

North of Columbus Circle, Broadway was known as The Boulevard, until the name was officially changed around the time of this photograph. Hanging above the roadway is a sign that doesn't apply in the context of contemporary New York City. It reads, "Pleasure Traffic Keep Over to the Left. Business Traffic Keep Over to the Curb."

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Grand Central Station, 1905

Grand Central Station, 1905

There have been three train stations bearing the name Grand Central in New York City. This photo shows the second structure, Grand Central Station, which only existed in this form for about a decade. Grand Central Station replaced Grand Central Depot in an effort to relieve congestion and improve safety. A catastrophic train collision in 1902 impelled further improvement, and Grand Central Station was torn down in stages and replaced by Grand Central Terminal completely by 1913.

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Photographing New York City, 1905

Photographing New York City, 1905

In this black and white photograph taken in 1905, a man with a camera perches on a steel girder at East 19th Street and Fifth Avenue. The viewer looks north, towards the Flatiron Building, while photographer shoots west. Lord & Taylor can be seen between the girder and the photographer's dangling leg. Lord & Taylor, which is the oldest upscale retail department store in the United States, moved to the Ladies' Mile location you see here in 1870, more than three decades before the construction of the Flatiron Building three blocks north.

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The Fourteenth Street Theater, 1916

The Fourteenth Street Theater, 1916
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Boys in Front of 14th Street Theater, 1916

Boys in Front of 14th Street Theater, 1916

These boys, just exiting a the Fourteenth Street Theater, look like they are having the time of their lives. It's a beautiful spring day, April 30, 1916 to be exact, and nothing could be better than seeing an auto-racing movie and then palling around New York City with your chums. It's unlikely any of these boys knew or cared, but the theater they just exited had only recently become the "Downtown Home of Paramount Pictures." It had been built in 1866 as the Theater Francais and originally staged French comic operas. 

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Skaters on the Lake in Central Park, circa 1890

Skaters on the Lake in Central Park, circa 1890
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Wall and Broad Streets, 1916

Wall and Broad Streets, 1916

Ah, Wall Street. You can almost smell the money -- unless, like the gentleman in the extreme foreground, you have your finger jammed up your nose. On this day in 1916, the photographer captured the bustling activity of New York City's Financial District. Looking west along Wall, on the right you can see Federal Hall, which at the time was the United States Sub-Treasury building, on the left sit the newly-built House of Morgan and the New York Stock Exchange, and straight ahead, beyond Broadway is Trinity Church.

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