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About the Photos

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.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

East Side Story: 1905

East Side Story: 1905

New York circa 1905. "Exterior of tenement house." Another view of the building on East 40th Street seen here. 8x10 inch glass negative. View full size.

 

Look at Me Now

The building below, as seen from First Avenue & 40th Street, is 300 East 40th Street, also known as the Churchill. This high-rise stands on the southeast corner of Second Avenue and East 40th Street, where 308 East 40th Street, the subject of this Shorpy image, used to be. It is a co-op building with some apartment prices ranging in the multiple millions. It is one of the few apartment houses in the city with an open air Olympic size swimming pool on its roof.

Since We're Counting

I believe I see four window-gazers, although two could be ghosts!

Everything But Money

Love this photo as it reminds me of Sam Levenson's great memoir, Everything But Money. There's a whole neighborhood in one building.

Apropos of nothing

I seem to be at that stage of life where, on some days at least, the front page of Shorpy seems far more relevant than the front page of the New York Times.

Honeymooners

I fully expected to see Ralph Kramden looking out one of the windows.

Ouch!

Ouch! what's that lady sitting on by the grocers?

Location

I'm guessing that that is the 3rd Avenue El that can be seen at the extreme right edge of this photo, which would place this block between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, and probably shows the south side of the street. If so, I believe that an access street originating from the Queens Midtown Tunnel now empties its traffic onto East 40th at just about the same location. It is just two blocks west of what is now Tudor City. Have I got the geography correct?

[As noted in comments under the other photo, the grocery is 308 East 40th Street. - Dave]

Old Bill

I wonder if that is Bill Inwood suspecting that Green Stamps are maybe not the way forward after all!

Lofty Rental

I am wondering what those lofts were going for back then and what they would go for today if they were still there. At 1625 square feet of floor space they would bring a pretty penny today.

S&H Green Stamps

S&H Green Stamps (also called Green Shield Stamps) were trading stamps popular in the United States from the 1930s until the late 1980s.

By the way: I love your "titling capacities" Dave!

Present East 40th Street

Doesn't appear that anything is left

Not Here Now

I have to say this of 40th Street and 2nd Avenue. There isn't a Saloon on any one of the 4 corners.

Yoo hoo, Mrs. Goldberg

Reminds me of the early 50s television sitcom (arguably the first ever) "The Goldbergs." Who can ever forget the refrain of Mrs. Kramer, calling out to her neighbor through open windows, "Yoo Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg!" One has to wonder about the utility of the balconies on the center building as a means of escaping fire. They have no stairs or ladders to the street.

Family and Unescorted Women

I noticed the FAMILY ENTRANCE. I found this mentioned in a couple of my travel guides of Chicago during this era. From what I was told this was because unescorted women and children were not to use the front door. The main entrance would be on Main Street and the Women's and Family Entrance would be on a side street.

Another lost art

Not much call for Ornamental Plasterers any more.

Trading Stamps

I didn't know that Green Stamps dated that far back. I always thought they were a new thing in the 1950s and '60s.

New York Observer

Could that woman in the window above the entrance be the lady in the previous shot of this building?

[Note that there are at least three upstairs window-gazers here. Kind of a theme for today's posts! - Dave]

I like the carriagehouse next door

It's been gone for decades, I'm sure. The few remaining carriagehouses in the city are hotly contested real estate. People love the huge doors, I guess.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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