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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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New York, New York: 1901

New York, New York: 1901

Circa 1901. "Cluster of skyscrapers, New York, New York." Who'll be first to name the street? 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Louise Nevelson Plaza

Having worked for several years at 80 Maiden Lane, facing Nevelson Plaza, I have to say that while I think the building in question was really neat, and I would have been just as distressed as anyone when it was demolished, I do really like Nevelson Plaza. It provides a small bit of space in a very crowded and congested part of the city. And I like the sculptures, too.

Eighty Years - Too Young

Architectural historian Andrew Alpern took a few quick pictures in 1974, as the building, which was begun in 1894, was being torn down.

Penthouse or smokehouse?

That penthouse with the columns all around an the widow's walk on top would make an impressive penthouse if it wasn't for all the smoke from the lesser buildings around. Even today with the much more modern heating facilities and cleaner fuels.

[That's water vapor coming out of the rooftop stacks. New York's municipal steam system dates to the 1880s. -Dave]


What a gloriously eccentric building. A delight to the eye, thank you, Mr. Hardenbergh. Those who walk on that 'plaza' have no clue as to what they're missing.

And also, what is the building at the far right, with the roof top terraces?

Lone Wolfe

I remember this building -- seeing it on many weekend walks in the empty Wall Street area in the '60s and '70s. This was a deserted part of NYC on Sundays.

On Maiden Lane

"The 13-story John Wolfe Building, built in 1895 on the east side of William Street from Maiden Lane to Liberty Street. This narrow and stepped building in the Flemish style, considered to be an innovative way to solve various problems of the early skyscraper, was demolished in 1974 for an ill-conceived street widening plan. The site is now part of a glorified traffic island called Louise Nevelson Plaza."

View Larger Map

Liberty & Cedar

A block from Wall Street.

John Wolfe Building

The unusual Flemish style brick building at left of center is the 13-story John Wolfe Building, named for a prosperous New York hardware merchant and built in 1895 by his estate. Designed by the important architect Henry J. Hardenbergh (1847-1918), the building filled a small lot on the east side of William Street between Maiden Lane and Liberty Street. Still greatly lamented by architecture buffs, it was torn down in 1974 as part of an ineffectual street-widening scheme. Its site is now a "glorified traffic island" called Louise Nevelson Plaza. Hardenbergh's many surviving buildings can be seen here.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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