construction

Erecting a Skyscraper, 1907

Erecting a Skyscraper, 1907

Three iron workers take a break from constructing the Singer Building on a girder high above Liberty Street. The Singer Building was the headquarters of the Singer Sewing Machine Company and, from its completion in 1908 until the completion of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower in 1909, was the tallest building in the world. Thanks to fearless men like this that was a record that was continually broken during the early part of the Twentieth Century.  The Singer Building was demolished in 1968 and is now the site of 1 Liberty Plaza.

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The San Remo Apartments, seen from Central Park, 1932

The San Remo Apartments, seen from Central Park, 1932

The San Remo Apartment building, with its twin tower construction, epitomizes Upper West Side luxury. Construction began in 1929 and completed shortly before this photograph was taken in 1932. Many of the larger apartments had to be subdivided during the Great Depression to make them more affordable to renters. Since then, the New York real estate market has changed dramatically, and now the San Remo is amongst the most expensive locations in Manhattan, housing many wealthy business tycoons and celebrities.

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Ebbets Field Rotunda Entrance, 1950

Ebbets Field Rotunda Entrance, 1950

Charlie Ebbets acquired adjacent parcels of land in Flatbush over several years until he had enough space to build a stadium. Construction of Ebbets field began in 1912, and the Brooklyn Dodgers played their first exhibition game in Ebbets Field against rivals the New York Yankees on April 5, 1913. The stadium was the home of the Dodgers until their move to L.A. at the end of the 1957 season. At the time of this photo, the Dodgers were in the midst of a series of good years. Although they didn't win the pennant in 1950, they did in 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1955, and 1956.

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Manhattan Bridge Under Construction, 1909

Manhattan Bridge Under Construction, 1909

The Manhattan Bridge, which connects Lower Manhattan with the Brooklyn neighborhood formerly known as Fulton Landing, was the last of the suspension bridges to span the East River, following the Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges, respectively. In this photo, taken from Main Street near the Brooklyn Piers in 1909, you can see the Brooklyn Tower and the beginning of the Deck construction. In recent years, this neighborhood has been renamed DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and has become quite a trendy place to live.

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The Empire State Building Under Construction, 1930

The Empire State Building Under Construction, 1930

At the time of this photo, the Empire State Building was just surpassing the Chrysler Building as the tallest in the world. Completed in 1931, the Empire State Building was for forty years the pinnacle of skyscraper architecture. The portion that is still being constructed in this photo is not the familiar antenna that we know today, but what was intended to be a mooring mast and dock for airships. The first few attempts proved the impracticality of this idea. Imagine being a passenger disembarking across a gangplank 102 stories above Fifth Avenue.

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Queensboro Bridge Under Construction, 1907

Queensboro Bridge Under Construction, 1907

Looking east from Manhattan toward Blackwell's Island on March 8, 1907, you would have seen the partially completed Queensboro Bridge. Originally called the Blackwell's Island Bridge, the Queensboro was completed and opened to the public in 1909, about two years after this photo was taken. At the time it opened, it was the longest cantilever bridge in North America.

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Construction of Streetcar Tracks at Columbus Circle, 1897

Construction of Streetcar Tracks at Columbus Circle, 1897

In 1897, Columbus Circle was still the frontier. The monument to Columbus had been erected in 1892 to commemorate the four hundredth anniversary of Columbus's voyage, but construction of the circle was still underway until 1905. By 1920, in a traffic study commissioned by Special Deputy Commissioner in charge of Traffic, John A. Harriss, Columbus Circle was the business intersection in the world

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Brooklyn Bridge Under Construction, 1877

Brooklyn Bridge Under Construction, 1877

The Brooklyn Bridge is probably the most famous bridge in the United States, rivaled only by the Golden Gate.  Here we see it in 1877, seven years into its construction.  Visitors stand on a catwalk above the Brooklyn side, while the camera points west toward Manhattan.  When it opened in 1883, it would link two of the nations largest cities, paving the way for the creation of the City of Greater New York.

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Flatiron Building Under Construction, 1902

Flatiron Building Under Construction, 1902

View south toward Fifth Avenue and E. 23rd Street, with a portrait of the Flatiron Building under construction, 1902.  Completed that same year, the Flatiron -- also known as the Fuller Building, after George A. Fuller, whose company constructed it -- was one of the tallest buildings in New York City.  Today it remains an immediately recognizable icon of New York.

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