Manhattan

Great Jones Street and Lafayette Place, 1867

Great Jones Street and Lafayette Place, 1867

In this photo from 1867, this part of the East Village looked pretty rural. Now there's not a tree to be found at this intersection, but two years after the end of the Civil War there were plenty. Here we can see several several horses and carriages, a few pedestrians, a pair of young boys, a few street lamps, and a wrought iron fence surrounding a large house.

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Portrait of the Chrysler Building, 1930

Portrait of the Chrysler Building, 1930

At the time this black and white photograph was taken in 1930, the Chrysler Building was brand new and had the distinction of being the tallest building in the world. It took that crown from 40 Wall Street, which held if for only a few weeks, and yielded it less than a year later to the Empire State Building.

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Central Park Sledding, 1935

Central Park Sledding, 1935

In this black and white photograph, taken in the winter of 1935, we see Central Park from about West 72nd Street, transformed into a Winter Wonderland, with kids sledding and skaters on the sailboat pond.

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Financial District Skyline from East River Pier, circa 1935

Financial District Skyline from East River Pier, circa 1935

In this black and white photo of the Lower Manhattan skyline, we can see the Financial District as it looked in the mid-1930s. In the center of the frame is 40 Wall Street, which was for most of May 1930 the tallest building in the world, losing its crown to the Chrysler Building.

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The New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, 1911

The New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, 1911

This view of the New York Public Library, taken in 1911 from the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, shows the entranceway of the newly constructed building before the famous lions were installed. Streetcars, horsecars, and numerous pedestrians can be seen in the foreground.

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Broadway and West 115th Street, 1937

Broadway and West 115th Street, 1937

Looking northwest across Broadway from the southeast corner of Broadway and W. 115th Street, on this day in 1937, one can see the campus of Barnard College, Riverside Church, and Union Theological Seminary. The buildings and the trees have all gotten taller since then, and one can no longer see the Church or the Seminary from this vantage. The entrance to the 116th Street subway station that you can see right behind the trolley is no longer there.

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Amsterdam Avenue and West 125th Street, 1927

Amsterdam Avenue and West 125th Street, 1927

If it weren't for the date inscribed on the negative, one would never know this was a fall day in 1927. Neither the clothing nor the very few trees give anything away. Here the photographer shoots south along Amsterdam towards Columbia University. Nowadays, you'd see the bridge across Amsterdam between the Main Campus and the East Campus where the Law and SIPA buildings are located. In 1927 neither the buildings nor the bridge had been built yet.

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656 Fort Washington Avenue, Inwood, 1926

656 Fort Washington Avenue, Inwood, 1926

You don't see many homes like this in Manhattan anymore. When this photo was taken, on March 17, 1926, this Victorian-era home had already seen better days. The location now hosts a 6 storey apartment building across the street from tennis and basketball courts of a public school.

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Broadway and 45th Street, 1915

Broadway and 45th Street, 1915

In this black and white photograph from September 26, 1915, we see the Loews New York theater at 45th and Broadway. The signs boast continuous performance from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM. Today's showing was Trilby, released on September 20, the drama, set in England and France, was filmed in Fort Lee, NJ. The theater was demolished in 1935, but in 20 years of operation reportedly sold 50 million tickets.

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Fifth Avenue Hotel, circa 1875

Fifth Avenue Hotel, circa 1875

The Fifth Avenue Hotel, seen in this photo from the 1870s, was a luxury accomodation built in the late 1850s. At the time of this photograph, Ulysses S. Grant had recently used the hotel as the launch point for his Presidential campaign. The location at 200 Fifth Avenue is diagonally across from the eventual site of the Flatiron Building. However, the two buildings did not coexist for long, since the Fifth Avenue Hotel was demolished in 1908 not long after the Flatiron was constructed. The site is now probably best known as the location of Eataly.

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