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Bowling Green: 1941

Bowling Green: 1941

December 1941. "Buildings on Lower Broadway, New York." The park is Bowling Green, whose focal point was a statue of Abraham de Peyster, 17th-century mayor of the city. 5x7 inch acetate negative by Arthur Rothstein. View full size.


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Below is the same view from April of 2010.

Moveable Monument

Old Abe gets moved around a lot. He now sits a few blocks away in Hanover Square.

The fence around the green is famous for the broken posts that once held the Royal Emblem — broken off in protest at the beginning of the American Revolution. The ragged edges can still be seen. Remarkably, this fence was temporarily lost, when subway construction removed it, and it went missing for a few years.

A large horse mounted King George III statue stood right about the center of the green. He was torn down by the mob and the story is the lead statue was turned into bullets. The horses tail survives at the N-Y Historical Society.

Apocryphal story says that bowling got its 10th pin here. The Dutch outlawed the playing of 9 pins, the original game. on Sunday. Adding the headpin got around the law.

Rent for Bowling Green is one peppercorn per year. Don't know when it was last paid — the rent may well be in arrears.

My father might even be in the picture - he was an office boy in the Standard Oil building on the right. In Jan. of 1942, he volunteered for the Navy. Iwo Jima awaited him as a corpsman.
When he returned from the war, Standard Oil had moved to Rockefeller Center. He spent 47 years with them. Try that today.

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