SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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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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Grand Union: 1912

Grand Union: 1912

New York circa 1912. "Grand Union Hotel, 42nd Street and Park Avenue." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Today's Top 5


I'm intrigued by the luxury landaulet in the center of the photo with the driver in the timeless repose of a waiting chauffeur. I can barely make out the shape of the radiator, Winton? Ford Model K? --any guesses?
Great photo----

No overhead

I noticed there are no overhead wires and the track has an off-center third rail or slot. Were these cable cars, or was an electrical feed below ground and accessed through the slot?

[The latter. -tterrace]

Now Pershing Square

This area is now known as Pershing Square, although eventual General of the Armies John J. "Black Jack" Pershing was only a Brigadier General in 1912. The most famous occupant of the square is Grand Central Station. Grand Union Hotel was closed in 1914 and the building demolished in 1916. It's said no key could be found to lock the front doors when the hotel closed, nobody recalling that one had ever been made. The Pershing Square Building was built on the spot and completed in 1920. It survives.

[Ahem; Grand Central Terminal. -tterrace]

Half a Grand Union

In streetcar parlance a Grand Union is a track arrangement allowing each approaching car to cross straight through the intersection or to turn left or right onto the perpendicular street. This intersection may indeed qualify but, unfortunately, we can only see half the area.

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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