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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 • NORTH TUSCANY COAST, 1948

Manhattan Municipal: 1913

Manhattan Municipal: 1913

Circa 1913. "New Municipal Building, New York City." The 40-story Manhattan Municipal Building and associated infrastructure including an elevated rail line and the Manhattan Bridge. 8x10 inch glass negative. View full size.

 

Windsor McKay

This building looks like Windsor McKay dreamed the top of this but someone like Sullivan saw the rest of it to completion.

[It's Winsor McCay. -tterrace]

I bought a marriage license here 85 years later

Little did I know how much it would cost me over the long run!!

Wonderful photo - and so much still exists 100 years later! Out of all the buildings in the foreground, only the small building on the left between the building with the "To Let" sign and the squarish one with the mansard roof, and the plain brown one directly in front of the municipal bldg is gone - the rest are still standing proud. In the right foreground is the back of City Hall, and to the left is the Tweed Courthouse.

What is long gone of course is City Hall terminal of the IRT's Second Avenue El, where at one time you could transfer to Brooklyn-bound trolleys that trundled over the Brooklyn Bridge (out of view on the right).

In the plaza just in front of the Municipal building you can see a subway entrance kiosk to the IRT's City Hall station, which opened nine years before this photo was taken in 1904. The kiosk still exists, although it has been moved about 30 feet and now houses an elevator. The stairs leading down to the subway are now open to the elements - ah, progress!!

Deja vu all over again

This is a beautiful structure; I can see why it was chosen as the model for the Terminal Tower (formerly Cleveland Union Terminal) in downtown Cleveland.

Wedding Cake II

At the top of the tower were the transmitters for the City-run TV and radio stations (now sold) as well as the base for the packet radio network. At least that what was there before I retired ten years ago. You can step out a window/door and walk around a narrow catwalk. Don't have acrophobia though!

No spindly little crane tower

They weren't taking any chances with that crane tower. Can't quite ferret out how that contraption was supposed to work, but unlike its offspring I doubt if it ever fell over.

Wedding Cake

Wonder what offices/suites were located in the 'wedding cake' atop the building.

Lucky for me

It was a lucky day for me back in the early 90's when I was taken to the top of The Federal Building, opened the door to the roof and was greeted by this view. ( Also lucky that I happened to have a camera that day; though I only had four frames of film left to shoot. )

Clean lines

Notice the clean walkways in the park at the bottom of this picture; not even a fallen leaf to disrupt the casual passerby.

Still looking good!

And a bit more complete, via Bing bird's eye view: http://binged.it/112au5S

 
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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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