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The Equitable Fire: New York, 1912

The Equitable Fire: New York, 1912

January 1912. Equitable fire as viewed from the Singer Building. View full size. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. An account of the fire.


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Cold Day on Broadway

Okay, the white building in the left foreground is the American Exchange National Bank, 1901 (Clinton and Russell). The small dome to left is the New York Clearing House on Cedar Street. The small peak-roofed building at top left is Federal Hall. To the right of it is Hanover Bank, 1901-03 (James B.Baker). To the right of the bank is the newly constructed Banker's Trust Co. (Trowbridge and Livingston). The small structure below these is the Astor building on 10 Wall Street. This and the Hanover Bank were demolished 1931. The tall building to the right of the Astor is American Surety, 1896 (Bruce Price). Two buildings behind it is the United Bank. The two on the right are the Trinity, 1904-05, at top of picture and U.S. Realty, 1906-07 (Francis Hatch Kimball), at 11-115 Broadway. Equitable Life Assurance itself was built in 1870. That's it for now, Peace.


Hope the place was insured!

The most interesting thing to me about this is seeing what the Equitable building looks like from above, rather than from street level.

Oh my gosh...

The article linked above kinda hints at “millions of dollars in negotiable bonds” in vaults. Try $375,000,000 worth. And $10,000,000 in cash. And that's just what belonged to the Equitable Trust Company and the Mercantile Branch of Bankers Trust. Another firm, Equitable Life Assurance, had $274,000,000 in its vaults, and August Belmont & Company, had only $150,000,000 in its vaults. (These amounts come from this New York Times article (pdf). An interesting read.)

According to spreadsheet file from this site, the $809,000,000 reported would roughly translate to $16.5 billion in 2007 dollars.

I wonder how much of that wealth was wiped out in 1929?

You go!

Dave: congratulations! You got noticed by Glenn; well done!

Denny Gill
Chugiak, Alaska

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