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Offices to Let: 1916

March 1916. "New York, New York. Broadway, looking north from Canal Street." View full size.

March 1916. "New York, New York. Broadway, looking north from Canal Street." View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Boy in cap

Much as I love these photos for their ancient streetscapes and for the comparison to the view today, I tend to get hung up on individual characters. The mesmerizing personality for me in this shot is the lad in the lower right, looking straight at the camera. There are a couple of other people staring at the photgrapher, up the block a bit, near the curb, including someone on the grate standing square to the camera who appears to be wearing a mask, and don’t even get me going on the woman with the strangely positioned head and alien eyes just beyond our main character’s cap. The boy with the blurry face, eyes shaded by the peak of his cap, is the one who’s really staring at me across the century.

Moving Day is Fast Approaching

In old New York, May 1 was Moving Day, when all leases ran out and new ones began. If this photo was indeed taken in March, it would explain the proliferation of "To Let" signs hung on all the buildings.


Below is the same view from September of 2014.

Broadway Battleship

was the name given to the giant streetcars that ran on Broadway in New York City. They were also-in NYC-double deckers, so they looked even bigger.

Streetcars be gone

103 years later the street is paved and some buildings are still there:

Hobble Skirt Streetcar

Before the advent of low-floor buses and streetcars in modern times, we have an example in this photo of the Hedley-Doyle "Stepless" streetcar introduced on Broadway in Manhattan in 1912. These featured a centre entrance with a very low first step to deal with the so-called Hobble Skirt fashion of the times. Lots of information here. Other cities experimented with this design, including Vancouver, Canada, as shown in this photo.

Beam me up, Scotty

That guy in the middle of the road won't make it to the other side before he re-integrates near the bridge of the Starship Enterprise.

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