Im just a small town girl from long island n.y. and spent special occassions in manhattan growing up as a kid and was always awed by the city, but seeing its beginnings just takes my breath away. wish there were more photos. ginny
The Last El Train
Wednesday, March 25th 2009, 5:35 AM
South from 59th St. , March 1952
New York’s elevated trains went back to before the Brooklyn Bridge, before the Statue of Liberty, relics of a day when grandmother was a girl, and after a certain point they became deemed rustily creaking menaces to the public safety. And they were, after all, losing money anyway.
Thus, by mid-20th Century, the old Second, Sixth and Ninth Ave. els were but memories, abandoned and demolished and little mourned, the once-dark caverns beneath the hulking overhead trestles now flooded with sunshine. Finally, only the Third Ave. line still rattled along, from Chatham Square up to 149th St. in the Bronx, the avenue’s gin mills and junk shops still nestled in the familiar old shadows, rumbling with the deafening echoes of once upon a time.
Amid grand civic plans to brightly rehabilitate the entire East Side, a Third Ave. train made its final run on May 12, 1955, and the cutting torches went to work just two days later, and within a few months there was nothing left of New York’s els, vanished into history like the horsecars before them. Real estate interests were jubilant. “I just hope the avenue doesn’t become too expensive,” fretted one elderly woman who had lived under the el her whole life.
© 2009 Daily News
I only posted this for the photographs, not to start a debate about which was or is the last El.
March 30, 2009, 5:13 pm
1840s Daguerreotype Is Sold for $62,500
By Jennifer 8. Lee
This daguerreotype, showing a country home along “a continuation of Broadway,” was likely taken in New York City, in October 1848 or earlier. It sold for $62,500 at a Sotheby’s auction.
Updated, 5:42 p.m. |
A photo believed to be one of the oldest ever taken in New York City was sold on Monday at Sotheby’s for $62,500 to a buyer who submitted the winning bid by phone, the auction house said. The pre-auction sales estimate was $50,000 to $70,000.
The winners were Billy and Jennifer Frist of Nashville. “It’s a very unique, historically significant daguerreotype,” said Mr. Frist, who has been collecting photos since 1993 and is a nephew of Bill Frist, the Tennessee Republican and former Senate majority leader.
The picture, believed to date from October 1848 or earlier, shows a white house on a hill with a white picket fence, next to what is believed to be the old Bloomingdale Road, the continuation of Broadway, in what is now the Upper West Side.
The photo was discovered at a small New England auction, and the date and location of the image were taken from a note that was folded and placed behind the daguerreotype plate in its original leather case. The note — misspelling the word “magnifying,” among other irregularities — is written in a neat, cursive hand, in dark ink on pale blue paper:
This view, was taken at too great a distance, & from ground 60 or 70 feet lower than the building; rendering the lower Story of the House, & the front Portico entirely invisible. (the handsomest part of the House.) The main road, passes between the two Post & rail fences. (called, a continuation of Broadway 60 feet wide.) It requires a maganifying glass, to clearly distinguish the Evergreens, within the circular enclosure, taken the last of October, when nearly half of the leaves were off the trees.“It took a tremendous amount of research to establish where it was,” said Denise Bethel, director of the photography department at Sotheby’s New York. “The clue is the phrase ‘a continuation of Broadway.’ The owner thought the phrase ‘continuation of Broadway’ might indicate it was New York City. That was his best guess. We fanned out and did a lot of research to back him up.”
May 1849. L. B.
Bloomingdale Road, often referred to as “continuation of Broadway” in the city directories of the day, was one of two main roads that ran up and down the island in the 1700s. The other was Old Boston Road, which is where Park Avenue is now. Bloomingdale Road was named for the Bloemendael area, now the Upper West Side, and cut through hilly terrain in Midtown and Upper Manhattan, from Union Place to Manhattanville.
(The road name survived as the name of a restaurant, recently closed, at West 88th and Broadway.)
The photo, whose creator is unknown, is unusual because it shows a bucolic scene at a time when daguerreotypes were still an experimental technology. Daguerreotypes, each of which is an in-camera positive image on a polished silvered metal plate, were very popular in the United States in the 1840s and 1850s. They were generally indoor portraits due to the fickleness of weather and outdoor conditions. Early known daguerreotypes of New York City are rare, and those that exist usually focus on the urban setting of buildings in Lower Manhattan, such as Chatham Street (now Park Place) and City Hall Park.
“There were so many studios in Manhattan, it has always been a mystery why we don’t have more outdoor daguerreotypes of New York City,” Ms. Bethel said. She said she suspected that such outdoor photos were made but that over time their identifying information was lost.
“If we did not have this note, we would simply not know it was New York City,” she said.
Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company
I'd be happier if the city was able to buy it and put it in one of its museums.
Trying to Recapture the Glory Days, Up in the Old Hotel
Long Island Historical Society
The Art Deco swimming pool where Truman Capote splashed away.
By CAROLINE H. DWORIN
Published: April 3, 2009
IN 1885, when Brooklyn was still an independent city, the St. George Hotel was rising on Clark Street, just steps from the East River. At 2,623 rooms, it would become the nation’s largest and grandest hotel. By the early 1930s, its new tower rose more than 30 stories.
Occupying an entire block of Brooklyn Heights, between Hicks, Henry, Clark and Pineapple Streets, the St. George was a beacon that attracted some of the brightest lights in American society.
During the hotel’s heyday, from the 1930s to the ’50s, F. Scott Fitzgerald raised a glass there, Presidents Truman and Roosevelt spent the night, and Truman Capote swam regularly in its Olympic-size salt-water pool below a grand mirrored ceiling. Celebrities and socialites danced in the Colorama ballroom, illuminated with about 1,000 multicolor bulbs.
But by the 1960s, the St. George’s popularity as an opulent destination had waned. Many of the hotel’s rooms were empty, and the place fell into a long period of disrepair. In 1984, the pale-brick tower was converted to luxury co-ops.
Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company
New York at the beginning of the 1960s
...girls reacting to cowboy
Last edited by Merry; April 10th, 2009 at 06:57 AM.
East River Drive
Updated Friday, April 10th 2009, 1:17 PM
Eventually it would come to be known as the FDR, but honoree Franklin Roosevelt was not yet deceased in 1934 when Master Builder Robert Moses began planning his latest Mosesean offering to the automobile gods, and the East River Drive was what it was called.
Originally the parkway ran just from 92nd Street to 125th, its chief purpose being to provide readier vehicular access to the Triborough Bridge despite the fact that there was no Triborough Bridge at the time; Moses was just efficiently planning ahead.
After that, this key piece of the Master's circumferential road system spent the next 30-odd years creeping southward in assorted stretches here and there to the Battery, much of it on landfill.
Order prints from our vast photo library at www.dailynewspix.com
© 2009 Daily News, L.P.
This forum is amazing. I am from a different country and we will move to New York very soon. Nice to hear the history of New York here. Thanks.
I will be working in a big hotel in New York next month.
Scanned from my own collection of old photo negatives.
Strike of elevator workers, 1936.
New York City, 1936. Description: "Raises corn in roof garden. A determined amateur gardner produces a varied crop of fruits and vegetables in a complete 'farm' seventeen stories above the streets of Gotham. Corn grows tall and two dozen bunches of fine grapes swell the list."
Scanned from my own collection of old photo negatives (and some slides).
Please not that these scans are not optimized or cleaned up with photo editing.
World Trade Center and Empire State Building.
Aerial, around 1958.
New York City, June 1939.
East 37 st & 3rd Avenue, March 11, 1966.
Pan Am building.
Lower Manhattan and Singer Building, 1912.
Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, ESB, Chrysler, 1937.
Probably construction of new Federal Court Building, completed in 1936.
March 11, 1927.
Brooklyn Bridge, 1950/1951.
Construction of ESB antenna, 1950/1951.
Street scene and entrance Empire State Building.
Part of Empire State Building.
View on Lower Manhattan.
View from Manhattan Municipal Building.
Empire State Building.
In the distance Singer Building and Woolworth Building.
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower, November 23, 1911.
Construction Woolworth Building, 1912.
Singer Building and Woolworth Building.
View from Municipal Building.
Last edited by cityskyscrapers; June 20th, 2009 at 02:47 PM.
Those photos were amazing, both new and old.