East

Lexington Avenue and East 65th Street, 1930

Lexington Avenue and East 65th Street, 1930

In this black and white photo from the winter of 1930, we see an almost traffic-free Lexington Avenue. A streetcar rolls past St. Vincent Ferrer Church, a taxi idles on the corner of 65th Street, and a couple of women saunter past Allison's Drug Store.

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Park Avenue and East 85th Street, 1929

Park Avenue and East 85th Street, 1929

Late April, 1929, and Park Avenue, looking south from East 85th, doesn't seem remarkably different from today. The street had yet to be widened, and clusters of brownstones still peppered the avenue, but the luxury highrises were already the order of the day. According to the sign in the lower right, 1021 Park Avenue was being constructed as a "100% Cooperative Apartment."

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Aerial View of Midtown Spires, c. 1950

Aerial View of Midtown Spires, c. 1950

In this aerial black and white photo from about 1950, we see the spires of Midtown East, including the Helmsley Building and the Chrysler Building. The midcentury haze obscures southern manhattan and Queen, giving the sense that the world beyond Midtown Manhattan ceases to to exist.

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East 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue, 1901

East 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue, 1901

In 1901, the great crossroads of 23rd Street, Fifth Avenue, and Broadway had not yet taken its final form. The Flatiron Building, also known as the Fuller Building, was just beginning construction. In this black and white turn of the century image, the only sign of the iconic skyscraper is the fence around the construction site. The Heinz 57 ad on the side of the Cumberland Hotel was about to be hidden forever.

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The Flatiron Building after a Snow Storm, 1906

The Flatiron Building after a Snow Storm, 1906

In this view south from East 26th Street and Fifth Avenue, the Flatiron Building looks like it is plowing through the snow. It looks like a substantial amount of fresh snow has blanketed the city, all of which has been shoveled by hand. The streets are as clear as they are likely to get until the hooves of the horses tramp it into slush. But luckily for us, some anonymous photographer captured the clean beauty of this moment forever.

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Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1909

Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1909
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Central Park near East 62nd Street and Fifth Avenue, 1940

Central Park near East 62nd Street and Fifth Avenue, 1940

It's a beautiful summer day in 1940, and from where you stand in Central Park, you can see two of the most luxurious hotels in the world, the Sherry Netherland and the Plaza. The Plaza is perhaps the better known of the two, but sadly will eventually become a luxurious residence. The Sherry Netherland, however, will remain the pinnacle of New York City luxury for some time to come.

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