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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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Madison Avenue: 1916

Madison Avenue: 1916

New York, 1916. Heckscher Building at 50 East 42nd Street and Madison Avenue. View full size. Irving Underhill photo. The building, which still stands, used to have a squash court on the 23rd floor. Nowadays it's dwarfed by its neighbors.

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Grand Central Terminal

Okay, the building on right foreground is the Union Carbide building. The balcony is the upper railing/walkway of the Manhattan Hotel built 1897 (Henry Janeway Hardenbergh), remodeled 1921-22 and renamed National City Bank. Demolished circa 1963. The Lincoln Safe Deposit Co. was demolished 1928. Behind it is the rear view of the Hotel Belmont 1906, demolished 1931. The building between Union Carbide and Heckscher is possibly the Murray Hill Hotel. South of the Manhattan Hotel and to the left of the Heckscher building (not visible) was the future site of the 1921 Liggett Drug building. The Belmont Hotel, on Park Avenue between 41st and 42nd streets, had me stumped for a while. Bye for now C.R. Can't believe I confused G.G. Bain with Irving Underhill on the Singer 1908 picture. And that wasn't the Queen Insurance building, it was the Dun building. Thanks Dave for the correction.

Which way are we facing?

Southeast. 42nd St heads east (to the left). Construction of the southern ramp of the "circumferential elevated driveway" around the newly-completed Grand Central Terminal is visible on Park Ave one block east. Madison Ave is one-way heading north, that comes in from the right at the bottom of the photo. Was it always one-way? Dunno.

The Lincoln Safe Deposit Co building is now the 53-story Lincoln Building, directly across the street from the Vanderbilt Ave/42nd St GCT entrance in the foreground here. Been in there many times to a friend's office but I never knew about this building right next door. Thanks Shorpy, I learn something every day.

Such Detail!

Look at the bird droppings on the railing and walkway in the left corner foreground.

Denny Gill
Chugiak, Alaska

SHORPY OLD 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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