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Coney Island, Brooklyn, 1932

Coney Island, Brooklyn, 1932

The beach and boardwalk is crowded on this summer day in 1932.  Notice how many of the men and women strolling along the boardwalk are wearing hats and jackets, despite the warmth evidenced by other men in short-sleeved shirts and the abundance of sunbathers.  Aside from the mode of dress, Coney Island wouldn't look much different in the summer today.

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Columbus Circle, c. 1895

Columbus Circle, c. 1895

A view from Eighth Avenue and 59th Street northeast across Columbus Circle into Central Park.  In 1895, there doesn't seem to be all that much going on in this part of town -- a few pedestrians, a couple of bicyclists, a streetcar, some drays.  Seems like an odd place to put a monument.  This clearly demonstrates the foresight of the city planners.  What was a boondock, is now an epicenter of world commerce.  This photo is taken from the approximate location of what is today the Time Warner Center.

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Columbus Circle at Night, c. 1920

Columbus Circle at Night, c. 1920

The silhouetted hansom cab and driver look like they could be cruising for a fare in Victorian London, but this is a rainy night in post-war (the Great War, that is) New York.  The driver, parked along a slick, deserted Central Park South, looks west toward the bustle and lights of Eight Avenue and Columbus Circle.  The dark monument to Columbus stands in sharp contrast to the luminance of the surrounding commerce.

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Columbia University, 1905

Columbia University, 1905
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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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