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Mad Men: 1943

Mad Men: 1943

March 1943. "New York, New York. Madison Avenue on a rainy day." Photo by John Vachon for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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Union Carbide and Carbon Building

not the famous skyscraper in Chicago, but the more modest one in New York City.

The Union Carbide and Carbon Building at 30 East 42nd Street
The Union Carbide and Carbon Building at 30 East 42nd Street

Date with the wrecker's ball

Built in 1913, the 23-story Union Carbide & Carbon building was on the southwest corner of Madison Avenue and 42nd Street. In this picture the photographer is on the northwest corner of Madison and 42nd and the view is diagonally across the intersection.

Union Carbide vacated the building in the 1970's when it moved to an office park in suburban Connecticut. The "Carbon" had vanished from its name sometime earlier. The building was renamed the Madison Plaza Building and housed a variety of tenants until its demolition in 2001. Today the much larger PriceWaterhouseCoopers Building occupies the site.

So evocative

You can smell the wet wool and hear the tires on the asphalt.

Somewhere a short subway ride away, my parents were busy being toddlers.

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