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Thread: History New York 20th century

  1. #1

    Talking History New York 20th century

    Hi, I`m Erick Christian Alvarez Soto from Mexico City. I like New York and I was created a new tread searching many thing about the evolution of new york skyline on 20th century. In special, the development this famous skyscrapers.

    I have want for send your photos and experience the history and magic of the Skyscraper Capital of the World.

    Have a hard discussion about the true first skyscraper on new york. Some authors says of the fist skyscrapers of the city is the 1902 Flatiron building. Another says the first building that considered skyscrapers as the demolished 10 story Tribune Building that build in early 1870s, but is were not a skyscraper first a it were no build with a steel frame and was added another five stories until 1900.

    Officially the first building to be called skyscraper in New York (because it was more of ten stories and was build with steel frame structure) was the 11 story Tower Building (now demolished) on 50 Brodway. It was build on 1889, 5 years after the first world skyscraper was build on Chicago.

    Our race was started in 1890s and here a pictures.

    Manhattan from the Statue of Liberty. 1890

    Lower Manhattan looking southwest from Brooklyn Bridge. 1892

    The crossroads of Broadway, Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street, in 1892. The one-story building with a theatre billboards (center) marks the future site of the Times Tower. The site in few years will come the future Times Square.

    The Waldorf Hotel, in the fifth avenue and street 33. August 1893

    Skyscrapers on old Newspapers Row, near City Hall. September 1895: Here showed The World Building (with a top inspired on St. Peters Church on Vatican City) at far left, The Tribune Building on center, and the New York Times Building on far right. Behind of this, appear the American Tract Building under construction

    Skyscrapers in Lower Boradway, in the Financial District. October 1895

    The 18-story Commercial Cable Building. 1897. This building was located on Broad Street and it was demolished on mid 1950s to make way of 27-story modern office building.

    The 22 story American Surety Building on Broadway, near Trinity Church. June 1897

    A one of Wall Street's first skyscrapers: American Surety Building. 1898

    The Waldorf Astoria Hotel, in the corner of the Fifth Avenue and 34th Street, in the site that today occupies the Empire State Building. May 1898.

    Wall Street. June 1898

    The 20-story Gillender Building on Wall Street, on the site that Bankers Trust Building stand now.

    St. Paul Building. Near St. Paul Chappel. 24 stories. March 1899

    The 30-story 391-feet high Park Row Building. November 1899

    Last edited by erickchristian; December 21st, 2010 at 01:31 AM. Reason: Added more information

  2. #2


    Thanks, Erick. Can you show us more photos?

  3. #3
    Banned Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY


    Great stuff, Erick.

  4. #4


    Thanks. You and many more people are invited to added your pictures of New York skyscrapers and skyline on 20th Century. Comming Soon I will write and put many pictures of the city on 1900's.

  5. #5

    Default Manhattan 1900's

    Hi. I start the 20th Century tour where we travel about the history of the Manhattan high rise buildings and skyline were changed trought the years since 1900 to 1999. This month we travel to Manhattan in 1900s. This decade was very important 'cause in these years testified the transformation of Lower Manhattan's Financial District on a true vertical city.

    In these years many icons were created: the Flatiron Building, the Singer Building, Hudson Terminal buildings and the Metropolitan Life Tower were build in these years. Midtown were a very luxurius residential district, but it was started this transformation on a commercial district, specially on the Grand Central aerea.

    I have many pictures about New York City in 1900. In this year the tallest office building in the city (and the World) were the 30 story Park Row Building on Park Row. Construction work were started on the site of the Flatiron Building on Fifth Avenue, Broadway and 23th Street. Pictures were testified the form of the City gretting the new century.

    The Brooklyn Bridge in 1900.

    The Manhattan Hotel on Madison Avenue at northwest 42nd Street. 1900. This old building was build on 1898 and it was the first skyscraper on 42nd Street and probably, of Midtown. This building were demolished on 1960 to make way to modern 40 story Sperry Hutchinson Building.

    Battery Park's first high rises building. February 1900. On the center of the Picture is the 1884 Washington Building.

    Lower Manhattan's Financial District skyline looking east from Hudson River. April 1900.

    The 16-story Waldorf Astoria Hotel, on Fifth Avenue and 34th Street. May 1900, on the site that was occupied years later by the Empire State Building.

    Old Madison Square Garden on Madison Avenue between East 26th and 27th Streets, on May 1900. It's tower were inspired on the Sevilla's Giralda, in Spain. The building were demolished on 1925 and it's site is now ocupped by New York Life Building.

    The Fifth Avenue looking northwest from 31st Street. June 1900. The Waldorf Astoria Hotel show in the bacgroung. It was on Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street.

    Broadway looking southeast showing City Hall and Newspapers Row's skyscrapers. June 1900

    The St. Paul Building. June 1900

    The Park Row Building. The tallest building on the World (30 stories). July 1900.

    Last edited by erickchristian; December 21st, 2010 at 01:46 AM. Reason: Added more information

  6. #6

    Default I want you for put pictures of old New York on my site

    I invited you and the rest of the public, for please,to pic your pictures about New York on 1900's on this site. Your pictures were published on this blog to contribute to the enrichment of this blog.

    Thank You!!!

    Erick Christian Alvarez Soto.
    Mexico City, Mexico.

  7. #7

    Default Manhattan 1900's

    I have more!!!

    Park Row and St Paul Buildings from St. Paul Church cementery garden November 1900.


    The Flatiron Building under construction. July 1901.

    Another picture of the Flatiron under construction in a rainy day. July 1901.


    Jump our travel to 1902. In this year the 23 story Flatiron Building were completed.

    And june 1902

    Lower Manhattan Skyline. June 1902. The Park Row Building dominate this scene.

    Another view of the Faltiron, at night. November 1902.


    This year is very important for the city's urban infrastructure. The construction work of the first subway line were a great progress. In the end of these year start a contest for the new Grand Central Terminal, because a need a new terminal to sustitute a old 1872-1899 station were starring a fatal train crash accident to cost many lives.

    Progress construiction work on 42th street for the subway. May 1903

    The old Giralda's style Madison Square Garden, as seen from Madison Square Park. June 1903

    Broad Street skyscrapers looking north toward Wall Street. July 1903.

    Fifth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets. November 1903. Can be seen the St. Regis Hotel under construction, on the background.

    The new Flatiron Building (completed on 1902) on December 1903


    The vertical city on process. View of financial district with many 15 to 20 stories high office buildings and the start of Third Avenue 'El'. May 1904.

    44 Street. View looking east from Fifth Avenue showing the second Grand Central Terminal at background. may 1904.

    The Fifth Avenue looking northeast from 42nd Street, showing the Temple Emanu-el. August 1904.

    Last edited by erickchristian; December 21st, 2010 at 01:41 AM. Reason: Added more information and pictures

  8. #8


    Saint Paul's Chapel Then:

    some time ago:


  9. #9


    Great pictures, specially the old color post card. Thank you.

    The recent picture show the great changes on the St.Paul Chappel trought the years. St. Paul office tower were demolished in late 50's to make way to moden pancaked building that be completed until 1961 and in this picture this is show on the right of the picture.

  10. #10

    Default The Tower Building

    It was build on 1888-89 and its was recognized the New York's first skyscraper. It were 11 stories high and were on 50 Broadway. It was demolished on 1913 to make way a another high rise building whave a picture about it.

  11. #11

    Default Manhattan 1900's

    Continued the traver in 1904. This year was crucial for the development of Midtown Manhattan like commercial zone. The construction of the tower for The New York Times, in the intersection of Broadway, Seventh Avenue and the 42nd and 43rd Street, that, along with the inauguration of first line of the Subway Railroad, that ride below this new building, impulse to Longacre Square, that as of that baptized Times Square, and therefore, the development of buildings of offices in Midtown Manhattan was begun.

    Here a picture of the Times Tower under construction. September 1904

    Broadway looking northwest from 70th Street: Look the recently opened Ansonia Hotel in the background.

    A watercolor of Daniel H. Burnham's Flatiron Building from Madison Square Park. (Unknown 1904).

    This year is very important. In this year The New York Times move from Newaspaper Row, on Lower Manhattan to its new 25 story headquarters on the intersection of Broadway, 7th Avenue and 42nd Street, on Longagre Square were completed. The new New York Times tower (now One Times Square Building) were inspired on Giotto's Santa Maria del Fiore Campanille in Florence, Itally. In the honor of the newspaper new headquarters, Longacre Square, the new heart of the theater live of New York (old Metropolitan Opera House were stood here since 1880s) were renamed Times Square, name that conserved today.

    The new 20 story Belmont Hotel on Park Avenue and 42nd Street. Another skyscraper for Midtown. May 1905.

    Park Avenue looking south from 56th Street. June 1905. Not glamorous

    It is the glamorous Fifth Avenue. Looking north from 43rd Street. June 1905.

    And from 49th Street. It can see the recently opened 20 story St. Regis Hotel. June 1905.

    It is the view that can see from the top of The New York Times Tower on October 1905. Times Square appears here like an austere place surrounded by low-rises buildings of 2 to 3 stories high and with very little luminous neon advertising signs. It emphasizes to the left just inaugurated Astor Hotel. The only 10 story building appear here at the center.


    Here.... The Times Tower.

    The picture that is considered until today the first aerial photograph of New York. The picture of Lower Manhattan skyscrapers was made from a baloom. May 1906.

    Park Avenue looking south from 50th Street. July 1906. Old Grand Central Terminal were lived its last days cause it will fall to the wreck ball for a new station. Dirty train lines on Park Avenue were too its last days outside.

    Macy*s Department Store, on Broadway and 34th Street. Herald Square. October 1906.
    Last edited by erickchristian; December 21st, 2010 at 01:56 AM. Reason: Added more information

  12. #12

    Default I want you for put pictures of old New York on my site

    I invited you and the rest of the public, for please,to pic your pictures about New York on 1900's on this site. Your pictures were published on this blog to contribute to the enrichment of this blog. Check Costco Ad and Hobby Lobby Ad.

    Thank You!!!

    Erick Christian Alvarez Soto.
    Mexico City, Mexico.

  13. #13

    Thumbs up

    Manhattan 1900's

    . Hi friends!!. I have a another travel about the evolution of the famous New York skyline trought 20th century. We countinue our travel around the city on 1900s. This week were on 1907, when the new 47 story Ernest Flagg's Singer Building and City Investing Building were under construction. The Renaissance style tower of Singer Building rending it was show here:

    The Ernest Flagg's 47-story Singer Building and City Investing Building under construction. May 1907

    59th Street was more elegant with the new building for the Plaza Hotel. August 1907. Architect. Henry J. Hardenbergh.

    The Architecture critic and historian, Paul Goldberger says about The Plaza:

    "The Plaza is a masterwork of Henry Hardenbergh, and it is a surely the greatest hotel building in New York. By 1907, more than two decades after the Dakota, Hardenbergh's style had softened somewhat. His sources had become more classical and more French than German and Flemish; hence the Plaza's great mansard, recalling a French Renaissance château, and its columned porticoes" (Goldberger, Paul. The City Observed. New York. New York. Vintage Books. 1979. Page 178).

    He continued.

    "But what is most important here is that Hardenbergh's skill a pure composition, at the arrangement of masses and surfaces and details in original and visually pleasing ways, is a evident here as in any of his earlier work. The Plaza was built for a remarkable site -behind and open square and adjacent to a corner of Central Park, and it commands this double-fronted urban site as a great château commands a rural vista" (Goldberger. 1979. Page 178).

    The Singer Building under construction. August 29th, 1907

    October 12th, 1907.

    And December 1907.

    Another skyscraper for Financial District: The Trinity Building. December 1907


    New York skyline were grow up

    Here the Trinity Church were surpassed by the skyscrapers of the Financial District. On the far right the Manhattan Life Insurance Building, were build on 1898. April 1908

    The Renaissance style 47 story Singer Building were completed. The Singer Building was the tallest tower of the world until 1909 when the Metropolitan Life tower were completed. The Singer Building were in Broadway and Liberty Street and stay here until 1968 were demolished to build of a modern office tower in the early 70s.

    This picture was taken approximately on june 1908.

    Another picture of Singer Building looking northwest from a Wall Street Skyscraper. June 1908

    The Fifth Avenue looking north from 42nd Street. The old Temple Emanu-El were rounded for office buildings ...and cars. June 1908.

    I back with more pics. Please pic your pictures of the city on 1900s in this site and it will be published. The next month I put the last pictures of 1908, 1909 and start the 1910s from my scanned pictures collection.

    Last edited by erickchristian; September 8th, 2009 at 05:16 PM. Reason: I added more information

  14. #14


    Look at the great buildings that were built in the 20's with those "open" zoning laws.

    I wish they'd tweak our zoning laws to award developers who provide us with good design (or some kind of community benefit) more FAR. Our zoning code now is so anti-design and anti-creativity.

  15. #15


    The wedding cake that provide the 1916 zoning law to New York City skyline the best and more memmorables buildings of the modern world. It was speake about it since the next month. Please wait.
    Last edited by erickchristian; June 25th, 2009 at 11:01 PM. Reason: Correct

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