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Herald Square with Streetcars and the Sixth Avenue Elevated Train, 1899

Herald Square with Streetcars and the Sixth Avenue Elevated Train, 1899

Herald Square, pictured here in 1899, was named after the New York Herald, the largest circulation newspaper of the time. The New York Herald Building was designed by McKim, Mead & White, and constructed in 1895. Herald Square could be called the ancestor of Times Square as the hub of New York City life. At the intersection of Sixth Avenue, Broadway, and 34th Street, with access to the Sixth Avenue Elevated Train and numerous streetcars, it was certainly a pre-eminent crossroads, well-trafficked enough to entice Macy's to open their flagship store there in 1907.

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Looking West from Wall and William Streets, 1907

Looking West from Wall and William Streets, 1907

Looking west from William Street, along Wall Street, toward Broadway, one sees Trinity Church. At the time of this photograph, 1907, the church was already 209 years old. Half-way between Trinity Church and the camera is Federal Hall. A statue of George Washington stands outside the building, commemorating his inauguration as First President of the United States on that site. At the time of this photograph, Federal Hall was the United State Sub-Treasury Building.

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Grand and Thompson Streets, 1927

Grand and Thompson Streets, 1927

Was there ever a time when New York City was not under construction? Here, at the corner of Thompson and Grand in November, 1927, construction is business as usual. The photographer looks east, past construction on either side of the street, toward the West Broadway and the Grand Street Station of the Sixth Avenue Elevated Train, which ceased running in 1938. It was replaced by the IND line, which is probably what is being built in this photograph.

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Thompson and Houston Streets, 1929

Thompson and Houston Streets, 1929

Smile for the camera, boys!  Geez, New York was a tough town in 1929, at least if these guys are any indication. We don't know who these men were, posing for a picture on the corner of Thompson and Houston, but it looks like the only time they'd ever been in front of a camera was for a mug shot. Even the two guys with coke-bottle thick glasses look like they'd teach that photographer a lesson if they could see him.

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Pennsylvania Station Train Concourse, 1940

Pennsylvania Station Train Concourse, 1940

The great Pennsylvania Railroad station was thirty years old at the time of this photograph, and it had yet to see its greatest traffic. Passenger volume would reach its peak during the war years. Rail travel would diminish in the years following the war as other modes of transportation, most notably air travel, gained popularity. By the 1950s, Penn Station would no longer be profitable, and the Pennsylvania Railroad would sell its air rights as means of offsetting the cost of operating the station. This would result in the eventual demolition of station.

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Train Departure Concourse, Pennsylvania Station, 1938

Train Departure Concourse, Pennsylvania Station, 1938

There was a time, not all that long ago, when railroads were the dominant form of travel in the United States, and the train stations of major cities reflected their importance. Pennsylvania Station in New York City was the grand-daddy of them all. Designed by the firm of McKim, Mead & White in the Beaux-Arts style, Penn Station was the ultimate blend of functionality with monumental grandeur.

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Amsterdam Avenue and West 96th Street, 1919

Amsterdam Avenue and West 96th Street, 1919

By the dawn of the Jazz Age, the Upper West Side was already starting to take on its modern appearance. Twenty years before, buildings would have been sparse, but by the time this photo was taken in 1919, apartment buildings had sprouted along the avenue as far as the eye could see. However, they still had much growing to do; St. Michael's Episcopal Church, on West 99th Street, towers above the "seedling" dwellings of the UWS of this era.

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The Boulevard on a Rainy Day, c. 1899

The Boulevard on a Rainy Day, c. 1899

North of Columbus Circle, Broadway was known as The Boulevard, until the name was officially changed around the time of this photograph. Hanging above the roadway is a sign that doesn't apply in the context of contemporary New York City. It reads, "Pleasure Traffic Keep Over to the Left. Business Traffic Keep Over to the Curb."

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Historic Night Game at Ebbets Field, June 15, 1938

Historic Night Game at Ebbets Field, June 15, 1938

The Brooklyn Dodgers loss to the Cincinnati Reds on June 15, 1938 was historic for two reasons. The game was played at night, for the first time ever at Ebbets Field. The game was also the second consecutive no-hitter pitched by the Red's Johnny Vander Meer. In this photo, you can see the beaten Dodgers heading back to their dugout, while photographers walk onto the field.

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Gansevoort and Washington Streets, 1903

Gansevoort and Washington Streets, 1903

This black and white photo of Gansevoort and Washington Street, taken in 1903, shows a bustling market. At this time, the area was the Meat Packing District, home to over 250 slaughterhouses and packing plants. The area has for the past several years undergone a renaissance and is now the home of numerous fashionable boutiques and the beginning of High Line Park.

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