Central Park West at 86th Street, 1925

Central Park West at 86th Street, 1925

Looking north along Central Park West toward the Hotel Peter Stuyvesant, which is now Orwell House, a cooperative apartment building.  When it opened its doors in February, 1920, not long before this picture was taken, the New York Times called it a high class hotel, noting that it had 350 rooms and 200 baths, and cost the Sonn Brothers about $1.7 million to build it.  Today, that's probably what a single apartment in the building would sell for.

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Uncle Sam Balloon at Columbus Circle, c. 1935

Uncle Sam Balloon at Columbus Circle, c. 1935

Uncle Sam arrives at Columbus Circle after marching down Central Park West in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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Central Park Lake and Boat House, 1914

Central Park Lake and Boat House, 1914

A summer day in 1914.  Two women stand on the edge of the lake in Central Park, arms akimbo, looking across at the boathouse.  This edifice was designed by Calvert Vaux shortly after the completion of the park.  It burned to the ground in1950 and was replaced by the current Loeb Boathouse.

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Central Park and East 79th Street Transverse, 1917

Central Park and East 79th Street Transverse, 1917

A double-decker crosstown bus pauses in the underpass of the 72nd Street Transverse.  Two passengers can be seen enjoying the weather on the top deck, while the driver sits in his shaded open-air seat.  The Fifth Avenue Coach Company, which operated this bus, was a pioneer in motorbus transit, developing and building its own fleet of buses.

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Brooklyn Terminal, Brooklyn Bridge, 1903

Brooklyn Terminal, Brooklyn Bridge, 1903

This view, looking west from the Brooklyn Terminal across the Brooklyn Bridge, shows the orderly organization of the bridge.  Streetcars and horse-drawn carriages ran along the outer roadways, elevated trains along the inner tracks, and pedestrians walked along a central walkway.  Of course, the smoke exhausted by the various factories and trains must have made the journey on foot a breath-taking one.

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Brooklyn Bridge from the Heights, 1910

Brooklyn Bridge from the Heights, 1910

This view northwest from Brooklyn Heights captures almost the entire span of the Brooklyn Bridge and the East River flowing beneath it.  The Manhattan skyline that is visible in the distance is noticeably flat.  City Hall and the Woolworth Building are out of view, southwest of the span, and other skyscrapers of the day are too far north to be seen.

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Lower Manhattan Skyline through Brooklyn Bridge Cables, 1923

Lower Manhattan Skyline through Brooklyn Bridge Cables, 1923

This view of the Lower Manhattan Skyline from the walkway of the Brooklyn Bridge is enhanced by the geometrics of the steel support cables and lattice.  The cables themselves were, in part, made from inferior wire that a subcontractor snuck into the project.  Rather than remove them, Chief Engineer Roebling let them stay, reasoning that the bridge would now be only four times stronger than it needed to be rather than six.

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Lower Manhattan Skyline Viewed from the Brooklyn Bridge, 1914

Lower Manhattan Skyline Viewed from the Brooklyn Bridge, 1914

Pedestrians stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge toward the Park Row Terminal, flanked by an Manhattan-bound train on their right.  Beyond the train, City Hall looms in the background, and to the far left the Woolworth Building juts at the sky.  Streetcars as well as the BMT rail line ran over the Brooklyn Bridge until around the middle of the last century.

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Brooklyn Bridge, 1905

Brooklyn Bridge, 1905

The camera points west toward the Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan as a ferry boat crosses beneath.  The bridge itself was inspired by a ferry crossing in the winter of 1852 during which engineer John Roebling was stranded for hours by ice pack.  He decided then, there needed to be a bridge built, and by 1870 his dream was under construction.

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Brooklyn Bridge Under Construction, 1877

Brooklyn Bridge Under Construction, 1877

The Brooklyn Bridge is probably the most famous bridge in the United States, rivaled only by the Golden Gate.  Here we see it in 1877, seven years into its construction.  Visitors stand on a catwalk above the Brooklyn side, while the camera points west toward Manhattan.  When it opened in 1883, it would link two of the nations largest cities, paving the way for the creation of the City of Greater New York.

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