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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 • THE CITY OF RUINS AND ROSES, c. 1930

Grace Church: 1905

Grace Church: 1905

Circa 1905. "Grace Church, New York." Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

 

Fascination

I'm absolutely fascinated with American architecture. It is something special. People just tried to move Europe there, and they did it even much better. Too bad, I can't see it with my own eyes. :(

Unchanged

Even the foreground building on the right is the same. It's just that the gingerbread framing around the windows and much of the rest of the siding above the ground floor has been cannibalized and masked over with some sort of hideous concrete slab material. Much easier "maintenance", I'm sure. The Boston Cloak building behind the Church is also still there. This charming little intersection in the heart of the financial district is remarkably unchanged over the course of almost 105 years. You've got to look hard sometimes, but the City That Never Sleeps offers the careful observer these unchanging street scenes with some frequency.

Lovely!

This is one beautiful church! I wish I could say the same for the new buildings that have replaced the older ones in the original shot.

[Look again. The old buildings are all still there. - Dave]

It's So -- So --

Ethereal, with a very definite European feel. The smell of horses would just accentuate the "country in the city" atmosphere that we brought here with us when we got America started. I can't stop looking at it. Thank you, Dave.

And Another Thing

When my middle daughter graduated from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU in 1988, she won the Dramatic Writing Award. The presentation ceremony was at Grace Church and the award was presented by Anthony Quinn.

799 Broadway

When I came back from my Army service in the mid 1950s I went to work for a friend of mine who was operating a collection agency out of an office at 799 Broadway, where that purple awninged antique store is now. The neighborhood was considered the Village and was a young man's dream come true. It lasted about a year and a half, I met my future wife and decided to settle down. I have some great memories and no regrets.

All Cars Transfer to...

..Bloomingdales

Was a reference to the fact that the department store was located on the 59th Street Crosstown Streetcar line. Thus any Manhattan resident could take a North/South line and then transfer to the 59th Street line.

The pushcart umbrellas were distributed free to vendors as an early form of viral marketing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloomingdale%27s

808 Broadway

The building to the left of the church, 808 Broadway, figured prominently in the best-selling novel The Alienist by Caleb Carr.

As there is a fairly sharp bend in Broadway right in front of Grace Church, it can be seen from a long way off in each direction, something not common in Manhattan.

Great Photo

Just about puts you there, then, on the street with the road apples and urine wafting about.

Still There, Still Beautiful

I live a few blocks from this beautiful church and sometimes stop in for a few minutes of quiet. I've taken many photos of it over the years. It often surprises me with its beauty if I'm wandering around and come upon it. A lot of the ivy is gone. So is the guy with the pushcart.

Say Grace...

The view today, barely different.


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