Lower Manhattan, Lower East Side, Greenwich Village, Upper West Side, Upper East Side, Midtown East, Midtown West, Flatiron District and Madison Square, Iconic Buildings, People and Professions, Transportation, Harbor, Brooklyn, Queens, Baseball, Bridges, Statue of Liberty, The Bronx, Construction, Central Park, Manhattan Above 124th Street, Chelsea, World Trade Center

Madison Square Park, 1902

Madison Square Park, 1902

New Yorkers love their greenspaces. In this black and white photograph from 1902, we see a mother and her children strolling through Madison Square Park. Fellow New Yorkers occupy the benches, chatting, and reading newspapers. Beyond the cool shade of the trees, looms the newly-constructed Flatiron Building, an urban icon seen from a bucolic setting.

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Sightseeing Bus in front of Flatiron Building, 1910

Sightseeing Bus in front of Flatiron Building, 1910

New York City has always attracted tourists. Here a busload of them prepare to see the sights, and there's no better place to begin than the Flatiron Building, which had only opened a few years before, in 1902. The official name of the Flatiron is the Fuller Building,   which is inscribed on the metal gates below the arch.

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Flatiron Building Seen from 26th Street, 1907

Flatiron Building Seen from 26th Street, 1907

The Flatiron District doesn't look terribly different today, with the iconic Flatiron Building cutting like a ship's prow through the combined traffic of Fifth Avenue and Broadway. It's the nature of the traffic that's changed. Here we see horses, carriages, and streetcars, rather than the cars, taxis, and buses of today. Oh, and maybe there are a few more tall buildings. But really, with the Flatiron in view, who notices them?

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Depression Era Apple Seller at Broadway and W. 32 Street, 1930

Depression Era Apple Seller at Broadway and W. 32 Street, c. 1930

In 1930, the International Apple Shippers Association, overstocked on fruit, came up with short term solution for the unemployed. They sold them apples at a greatly reduced rate on credit. By November, there were 6,000 apple sellers in New York City alone. This remedy only worked while the overstock of fruit lasted, and by the end of 1931 the apple sellers were all gone. Here we see a young woman buying an apple from an unemployed man at Greeley Square. The Sixth Avenue Elevated Station can be see in the background.

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Belvedere Castle, Central Park, 1905

Belvedere Castle, Central Park, 1905

Belvedere Castle was designed by Calvert Vaux in 1869 as a Victorian "folly," a whimsical structure having no practical function. It has since acquired the practical function of housing meteorological equipment for the National Weather Service. Its turret is the highest point in Central Park with views of (at the time of this photo) the Reservoir to the north and the Ramble to the south.

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The Ladies of Bow Bridge, circa 1865

The Ladies of Bow Bridge, circa 1865

Two women pause to be photographed by scenic Bow Bridge in the mid-1860s. The lush foliage indicates that it was probably summer. The eight cast iron urns on the bridge had disappeared by the 1920s and were only recently replaced by replicas. In the far background is a large building, which may have been the Ladies Refreshment Pavilion, which in the 1929 became the Central Park Casino, a restaurant catering to New York City's well-heeled clientele. The Casino was created via a sweetheart-deal between Mayor Jimmy Walker and his friend Sidney Solomon.

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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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New Jewish Market, Lower East Side, 1900

New Jewish Market, Lower East Side, 1900

In this hand-colored photograph from the Detroit Publishing Co., we can catch a glimpse of immigrant life on the Lower East Side about 1900. The street is lined with pushcarts, and merchants haggle with residents over fresh vegetables. Laundry hangs on fire escapes. A streetcleaner dressed all in white pushes a broom up the street.  Scenes like this came to an end in 1940 when Mayor LaGuardia outlawed the pushcarts and brought the vendors into indoor markets.

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New York Herald Building, West 35th Street and Sixth Avenue, c. 1895

New York Herald Building, West 35th Street and Sixth Avenue, c. 1895

This portrait of the New York Herald Building was taken around 1895 by the H. N. Tiemann Co.  Herald Square was named for the New York Herald, much the same as Times Square was named for rival newspaper, The New York Times.  In this photograph, we can see atop the Herald Building the statue of Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, and her owls. A bell and two bellringers stand just below Minerva, ready to toll the hour.

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Kids Cool Off in a Sprinkler on the Lower East Side, 1923

Kids Cool Off in a Sprinkler on the Lower East Side, 1923

Some things never change. One of the joys of childhood is running through a sprinkler in summer. For most this probably conjures images of suburban lawns, but as this photo attests city kids did it, too. On a hot summer day in 1923 on the Lower East Side, these kids cooled off by running in the street under a sprinkler hooked up to a fire hydrant.

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