Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.
The Hotel Astor on Times Square circa 1916. Note roof garden and, at lower right, the elaborate marquee for the film "Civilization." View full size. (George Grantham Bain Collection.) The building, at 1515 Broadway and West 44th Street, was demolished in 1967 and replaced by, in the words of one architecture critic, a "hideous tall office tower," 1 Astor Plaza, whose crownlike top is a familiar sight from across the Hudson River in New Jersey.