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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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New York: 1908

New York: 1908

Manhattan, looking northeast from atop the Singer Building in 1908. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

NYC Buildings

Okay here we go, looking north on Broadway. The spire at the bottom left is St. Paul's Chapel 1764-66, spire added 1796, oldest surviving church in Manhattan. The building next to it with inner courtyard is Astor House 1834-36, demolished 1926 for the Transportation Building (1927, York and Sawyer, 44 floors). Skip two to the one with the flagpole, the Mechanics Society building of 1870, seven stories. The top floors were the office studio of Irving Underhill, who took this picture.

[Note from Dave: This is not an Underhill photo. George Grantham Bain took the picture.]

Between the Society & the Astor House these buildings were demolished for the Woolworth tower of 1913 (Cass Gilbert, 792 feet, 57 floors). The peak-roofed building behind the flag was William Sloane Carpets and a patent office, 245 Broadway. The next big structure north is the Postal Telegraph and Home Life Insurance building, 1892-94.

The next building north, barely visible, is the National Shoe and Leather Bank, which is in the Postcard Views of Old New York Web site. Continuing north, partially obscured by steam, is the Broadway Chambers building (1899-1900, Cass Gilbert, 18 stories). Heading east across Broadway at the top of the photo underneath the letters E. FROM SINGER BUIL is the Clock Tower (New York Life Insurance, 1894-98, Stephen Decatur Hatch / McKim, Mead & White).

The building hiding the front of the clock towe is Brooklyn Life Insurance, 15 stories. Heading south the next big building might be Queen Insurance. South of that is A.T. Stewart's Marble Palace of 1846 (Joseph Trench & John B. Snook). The two behind the palace were demolished to make way for the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank (1908-1912, Raymond F. Almirall).

Gotta go, I'll finish Part 2 later and will provide book credits and favorite Web references.

NYC 1908

At first I thought the white specks were birds. (Duh). The penthouse is amazing. Were the two domed structures on the left part of the penthouse? And "Temple Court" there on the right is interesting. It would be fun to explore a huge blow up of this shot.


That is a nice penthouse (I presume) with the courtyard there near the center.

[That's the Park Row tower, tallest building in New York until the Singer was completed. - Dave]

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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