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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 • CARNIVAL OF THE ARTS, 1937

New York World: 1905

New York World: 1905

Circa 1905. "City Hall and New York World building." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

The World in color

The photo below was taken by Charles W. Cushman in June 1941: The entire Cushman collection of Kodachromes from all over the world over 32 years (from 1938 to 1969) can be seen on the Indiana University Archives site.

Magnificent Atlantes

Those are the male supporting figures near the top of the building. They are also called telemones. Both new words to me. The female version btw is caryatids.

Weird Coincidence!

I was just checking out John Bengtson's Silent Locations web site yesterday, connected via Leonard Maltin's recommendation. Well worth checking out by all the Shorpy fans, and no, I received nothing for this endorsement!

World Building in early movie Speedy

I used this photo of the World Building, and another great Library of Congress view of the New York skyline, to identify all of the New York skyscrapers appearing in this opening shot from Harold Lloyd’s final silent comedy Speedy, filmed on location in New York during the summer of 1927. Here’s how the World Building appears in my book Silent Visions, and how it appears (marked with an oval) in the movie.

You can see more vintage New York settings from the movie at my blog http://SilentLocations.WordPress.com

George B. Post

The New York World Building was one of the finest efforts of George B. Post, sometimes known as the father of the New York skyscraper. This building was built using a conservative variant of skeleton frame construction known as "cage construction." In this technique, the exterior facade walls are self-supporting, but the floors and the interior structure are carried on an iron framework built right next to the exterior masonry walls. The World Building made a rather questionable claim for the title of the world's tallest building, topping out at 309 feet, but that number was valid only when measured from the back door down the hill on Frankfort Street (a full story lower than the front door facing Park Row) to the top of the flag pole. The Masonic Temple in Chicago -- seen here last year on Shorpy -- had a much better claim at 302 feet. As for the critical reception of the World Building in the architectural press, the less said the better.

Gone

The New York World Building was demolished in 1955 for the expanded car ramp entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge. The newspaper folded in 1931 after being sold by the heirs of Joseph Pulitzer.

HA!

Excellent!

Classical

The New York World building is incredible. It stretches the limits of "classical" to its virtual breaking point; imagine if it had been as tall as the Empire State building. The mind reels at the implications. Please tell us that it is still there.

 
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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