Manhattan

Lower Manhattan Skyline looking North, 1930

Lower Manhattan Skyline looking North, 1930

A man in silhouette looks out from a high office in City Bank-Farmers' Trust Company Building toward 40 Wall Street, then known at the Bank of Manhattan Trust Building, which had only recently passed the Woolworth Building, visible further uptown, as the tallest building in the world. 40 Wall held that title for only a few weeks before being surpassed by the Chrysler Building, which can be seen through the window to the extreme right.

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Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan Skyline at Dusk, 1956

Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan Skyline at Dusk, 1956

Sun sets over New York City, and the city begins to glow with its own light. The spires of the Lower Manhattan skyscrapers, including the Cities Services Building and the Woolworth Building, can be seen beyond the Brooklyn Tower of the Brooklyn Bridge. The skyline of today would not be extremely different. Most notable, perhaps, is the absence of lights coming from the South Street Seaport, which in 1956 was not a tourist destination, but a working fish market.

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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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East River Skyline, c. 1955

East River Skyline, c. 1955

The Manhattan Skyline viewed from Roosevelt Island in 1955 looks strikingly familiar to a contemporary viewer. The art deco spires of the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building spear the sky, and the cigarette-box-shaped United Nations waits impassively for the better world its construction was supposed to help usher in. But the majestic giants of the second half of the Twentieth Century are conspicuously absent. The Citigroup Center, the Bear Stearns Building, the MetLife Building, and many others have yet to replace their smaller, forgotten predecessors.

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Erecting a Skyscraper, 1906

Erecting a Skyscraper, 1906

Ironworkers take a lunch break high above Lower Manhattan atop a partially constructed skyscraper. These brave men seem never to have even heard the word harness. Many of the ironworkers who built the skyscrapers of New York City were Native Americans, predominantly of the Mohawk tribe.

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Taxis in front of the Hotel Manhattan, 1912

Taxis in front of the Hotel Manhattan, 1912

Taxicabs wait for a fare in front of the Hotel Manhattan on 42nd and Madison. Notice the dirty duster the cabby is wearing. Men and women of this era often wore such coats to protect their clothing from the dirt of the road as they drove around in open cabs. The signs behind the men advertise the Archibald Foss Real Estate Agency, a detective agency, and a "Depot for Manhattan Shirts."

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Queensboro Bridge from Second Avenue, 1914

Queensboro Bridge from Second Avenue, 1914

Pedestrians and some horse-drawn vehicles can be seen crossing the 59th Street Bridge from Second Avenue in Manhattan. The pedestrians seem to outnumber the vehicular traffic, although both are light by today's standards. The buildings to the south of the bridge are painted with a variety of advertisements, including for Coca-Cola, Wallach's Superior Laundry, Omega Oil for Sore Muscles, Puffed Rice, and Castoria.

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Workman Erecting Steel on the Queensboro Bridge, 1907

Workman Erecting Steel on the Queensboro Bridge, 1907

A workman on the Queensboro Bridge plies his trade high above the East River in 1907. The view is northwest from Blackwell's Island, which was later renamed Roosevelt Island, toward Manhattan. In the background, on Manhattan Island, are the warehouses of the American Malting Company, which was forced to reorganize in 1906 as the American Malting Corporation.

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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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Performing the Rite of Tashlikh on the Williamsburg Bridge, 1910

Performing the Rite of Tashlikh on the Williamsburg Bridge, 1910

Every year for hundreds of years on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, Jews perform the Rite of Tashlikh, casting crumbs of bread, symbolic of their sins, into a flowing body of water. Here, in 1910, a group of women and girls cast their sins off from the Williamsburg Bridge into the East River. Jews in New York City still perform Tashlikh on the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges.

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