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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 • ROSES BY VINCENT VAN GOGH, 1890

Saratoga: 1915

Saratoga: 1915

Saratoga Springs, New York, circa 1915. "Broadway at the United States Hotel." Looking more than a little like one of those idealized Disney "Main Streets." 5x7 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Lots of kids, but

Love, love, LOVE this image, but where are the babies? The baby carriages? So many people and no little ones?

[These are vacationing wealthy people. The babies would be with their nannies. - tterrace]

Great American Main Street

My apologies to "History Lover", but I do not have a photo of Saratoga's current Broadway to share. However, I can state that a great majority of what is visible in the photo does, in fact, still remain. Yes, much has changed and the Elms succumbed to disease many years ago, but it is a vibrant and rich downtown. Travel and Leisure named it as "One of America's Greatest Main Streets" and the National Trust for Historic Preservation awarded it one of five "Great American Main Street" awards. The United States Hotel opened in 1874 and had 768 rooms and 65 suites. It was, however, surpassed in size by the Grand Union Hotel, which in its day was the largest hotel in the world, covering some seven acres. "Lost World" is right - opening day for Saratoga's 144th year of thoroughbred racing commences on Friday, July 20th!

Quite a bit remains

They've done a great job of keeping this vantage particularly pretty much the same. There's been some fires and other changes but the "Adelphi" is still there and open (only in the summer). It's worth a visit for a cocktail in the garden. 1906 & today:

Majestic Elms

What strikes me most about this photo and hardly seen in present day are the elms that line the street. Such a sad thing and unique thing to have left us.

At the races

A timely photo, as this year's Saratoga race meeting starts in a few days. Some winners of the prestigious stakes from 1915:

Alabama Stakes: Waterblossom
Hopeful Stakes: Dominant
Sanford Stakes: Bulse
Spinaway Stakes: Jacoby
Travers Stakes: Lady Rotha (A filly in a race usually dominated by males)

I dabble in racing history, and have never heard of any of these horses. 1915 was a pretty lame year at the Spa!

Spectacular

What a glorious image; visual poetry. It is filled with so many priceless details. We have lost so much....

It would be an epic job but I hope that someone will please colorize this one.

Today

I'll venture a guess that this street view today has virtually nothing remaining from 97 years ago, especially the trees! Can anybody provide a modern view?


View Larger Map

Lewis Hine Alert

Newsies at the center. Of course, something tells me that being a newsboy in Saratoga Springs probably wasn't as bad as doing the same job in, let's say, Buffalo or NYC.

Yet another awesome image for the colorizers out there!

Street lights!

I just noticed those wonderful street lights, that look like a little girl holding balloons. Disneyland needs to reproduce those right now!

Main Street USA

It's interesting to note that when Walt Disney was creating Disneyland, his relationship to the historic period portrayed in his Main Street (approx. 50 years past) would be like ours to the 1950s and 60s.

Everything I love

This photo in particular just struck me and it has all the elements that keep bringing me back to Shorpy every day.

I love the wonderful buildings, horse drawn carriages, early automobiles and well-dressed folks strolling down the sidewalk under stately trees. It could not get much more picturesque.

It is a time and place I would trade almost anything for to see with my own eyes.

But I am glad there are photos and that we have Shorpy, Dave and the other members sharing them with us. Keep up the great work!

 
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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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