SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

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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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Night View: 1932

Night View: 1932

New York circa 1932. "Night view, Manhattan." Photo by Berenice Abbott (1898- 1991). Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Collection. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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Digital Empire

thanks google

The Sixth Avenue El

At the time of this photo the Sixth Avenue El was already under a metaphorical death sentence. The IND subway under Sixth was either in the last phases of planning or the early stages of actual construction, and everyone understood that the El would be demolished once the subway was ready. That happened near the end of the 1930's.

Demolition of the Sixth Avenue El was not a tragedy like that of its counterpart on Third Avenue a decade and a half later. There was, obvious, a subway replacement on Sixth, while the Second Avenue subway that was meant to replace the Third Avenue El resembles the offspring of a mythological creature and a sick joke. Sixth Avenue also was a much busier thoroughfare than Third and therefore a less appropriate location for having elevated trains clattering overhead.

A persistent urban legend holds that scrap steel from the Sixth Avenue El was sold to Japanese dealers in 1939 and 1940 and used to build weapons that within a few years would be used against American troops. Given that scrap steel is a more or less fungible commodity there's no way of proving or disproving this rumor.

Old Metropolitan Opera House

Just beyond the distinctive tower of the Lefcourt Normandie Building (right of center and toward the top of the photo) is the gabled stage area of the old Metropolitan Opera House. The auditorium fronted at 1411 Broadway, but extended through the block to 7th Avenue. The old Met opened in 1883, but was gutted by fire in 1892. Rebuilt to match the original, it served until 1966 when the Metropolitan Opera was relocated to Lincoln Center. The building was demolished in 1967.

What wonderful picture

Bernice Abbott took this picture from atop the newly built Empire State Building looking toward the northwest. The two streets are Sixth Avenue (with the elevated train tracks) and Broadway.

The Naked City

Ten thousand stories down there folks, each amenable to exposition and solution in one hour, less commercial breaks.

Christmas Jewel Box

One of the most beautiful sights I can remember was flying into New York City shortly before Christmas on an extremely clear, cold, dark night some years ago. Preparing for landing we flew low over the city as spread out below us was a seemingly endless carpet of brilliantly colored rubies, sapphires, emeralds, diamonds and gold that was reminiscent of a pirate's treasure chest or an imaginary kaleidoscope out of a fantasy, twinkling, enchanting and alluring. If this photo of the city lights was in jewel-tone colors, you would get an idea of just how inviting and unforgettable it looked.

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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