Manhattan

Aerial Overview of the George Washington Bridge, 1957

Aerial Overview of the George Washington Bridge, 1957

The river is smooth and the traffic is minimal on this bright winter day in 1957. If it weren't for the distinctive Pallisades of the Jersey side, the low-rise buildings of Washington Heights would be indistinguishable from those of Fort Lee, across the river.

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Queensboro Bridge with Elevated Train, 1920

Queensboro Bridge with Elevated Train, 1920

Looking East from East 59th Street and Second Avenue across the Queensboro Bridge on this day in 1920, one sees an Elevated Train car, a few trucks and motor cars, and a few pedestrians.  This cantilever bridge opened in March 1909, and approximately 11 years into its existence, seems very much underutilized.  Not so, today. Today there is no time of day or night when significantly more than half a dozen vehicles will be found crossing its spans. 

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Manhattan Bridge Under Construction, 1908

Manhattan Bridge Under Construction, 1908

A barefoot boy stands on the cobblestones of South Street, in Lower Manhattan, looking northeast past the horsecarts and the ships in the harbor, toward the most astounding piece of construction he's seen in his lifetime, the Manhattan Bridge.  From the looks of things, this bridge has probably been under construction during the entirety of his lifetime, the construction having started in 1901, and not due to be complete until 1910.

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Amsterdam Avenue and West 207th Street, 1926

Amsterdam Avenue and West 207th Street, 1926

The streets are bustling in Inwood on this beautiful day in 1926.  Looking west toward Post Avenue and beyond, one can see the Corn Exchange Bank, several dance halls, a Chop Suey restaruant, and the Dyckman Theater.  The theater was a 1,700 seat movie palace that opened in 1913 and ultimately became part of the Loews chain.  This neighborhood is the northernmost in the island of Manhattan, and it is believed to be the location where Peter Minuit bought the island from the Lenape Indians.

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Museum of Natural History, 1913

Museum of Natural History, 1913

The photo, taken by the Irving Underhill Studios in 1913, shows the Museum of Natural History's 77th Street Facade.  This was the main entrance to the museum until 1936 when it was moved to the Central Park West side at 79th Street.  The view here is northeast from the Elevated Train platform.  The tracks can be seen in the foreground, running along Columbus Avenue.  The Ninth Avenue El closed in June 1940, when the City of New York purchased the IRT line.

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Cherry Street and Rutgers Slip, c. 1890

Cherry Street and Rutgers Slip, c. 1890

A group of children play on a cart on Cherry Street in Lower Manhattan in the late 1800s. Children have a wonderful way of making fun where they find it and children of yesterday were no exception. It is a beautiful day in the city, and these children are forgoing one of the city's many playgrounds to make the most of this unattended cart.

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View South from the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower, 1912

View South from the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower, 1912

In this hand-colored photograph, taken in 1912 by Irving Underhill, we see a very different Lower Manhattan Skyline than we would today. In fact, Underhill was taking the picture from the tallest building in the world, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower. The Woolworth Building, which would take the title in 1913, was not yet completed. It can be seen at the vanishing point of the horizon. To its right is the Singer Building, which is now 1 Liberty Plaza, and a little further right, merely a speck in the harbor, is the Statue of Liberty.

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The Old Met, c. 1885

The Old Met, c. 1885

The original Metropolitan Opera House occupied an entire city block between West 39th and 40th Streets along Broadway. It was built in 1883, and this photograph shows it not long after its opening, before the fire that gutted it in 1892. The building was demolished in 1967, and the Metropolitan Opera Company relocated to its present quarters in Lincoln Center.

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Broadway and Park Place, 1914

Broadway and Park Place, 1914
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