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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 • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Up Broadway: 1901

Up Broadway: 1901

New York circa 1901. "Up Broadway." The St. Paul and Park Row buildings, world's tallest at the time. Detroit Publishing glass negative. View full size.

 

Just waiting

Look at all that open sky just waiting to be scraped!

Flags

I've noticed in other skyline photos like this one, lots of bare flagpoles. Were flags only flown during flag holidays?

Also, the exposed crossbeams are an interesting touch on that one building.

I don't trust air I can't see

A gritty departure from some of the other photographs of New York that have a more genteel mood to them. The packed sidewalks, the smoke, the horses (and their effluvia), particularly in the summertime, must have created an atmosphere that was not for everybody.

Missing statues

The statues at the top of the Park Row building are no longer there. Does anyone know why they were taken down and what happen to them?

Basic Cable

If this photo was taken before May 26, 1901, those are the last of the Broadway cable cars.

White Suits

Check out the guys in white suits. There seems to be one about every block and there's one in the middle of the street who seems to be sweeping something, so I would presume that these are sanitation workers.

Western Union Building

At the lower left is the Western Union Building of 1872-1875, the first skyscraper completely designed by the great George B. Post. At the time of its completion it was 230 feet high, only slightly shorter than Richard Morris Hunt's contemporaneous New York Tribune Building over on Park Row. The Western Union was a handsome essay in the red-and-white "Neo-Grec" style with a huge mansard roof on top (which contained the telegraph room). The mansard roof was destroyed in a fire in 1890 and replaced by the top 4 stories seen here (designed by Henry J. Hardenbergh, architect of the Plaza Hotel and many other buildings). The Western Union was demolished in 1913 to make way for the first phase of the old AT&T Building, which is still standing at Broadway and Dey Street.

 
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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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