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Smoking Concerts: 1906

1906. "Post Office and Eagle Building. Brooklyn, N.Y." At the Alcazar Theatre: "smoking concerts." Detroit Publishing Co. glass negative. View full size.

1906. "Post Office and Eagle Building. Brooklyn, N.Y." At the Alcazar Theatre: "smoking concerts." Detroit Publishing Co. glass negative. View full size.


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Brooklyn Theatre

Near the site of the Alcazar had been the Brooklyn Theatre, at the southeast corner of Washington and Johnson. It burned on Dec. 5, 1876, with a loss of nearly 300 lives.


It was Alcazar for just two years.


This photograph below is a scan from a slide (clearly I need lessons on scanning slides from tterrace) that was taken in November of 2004 looking south on Camden Plaza East from Tillary Street. At the time of the 1904 photograph, this would be looking south on what was then Washington Street with the Eagle Building on the southeast corner of Washington and Johnson Streets. That corner and the area beyond to the former Brooklyn City Hall (which can be seen in both views) is now occupied by Columbus Park. The area on the right of the 1904 photograph is now occupied by the Korean War Veterans Plaza. As noted previously, the area occupied by buildings on the right in the 1904 view is now occupied by an addition to the post office.

Eagle Warehouse

The Eagle Warehouse (on Old Fulton Street, very near the East River) is quite lovely, but is an entirely different building about 1/4 mi west.

Brooklyn Eagle and Post Office

The Brooklyn Eagle building is still standing, and is now residential.

The Post Office underwent renovations a couple of years back and now houses the P.O., as well as other government offices. Click the pictures for more info.

271 Cadman Place

It looks as if an addition was put on at some point, where the Alcazar is. The address is 271 Cadman Place East # 1, Brooklyn, NY. If you go to Street View, at the SW corner of the building you can see the tower. The street that is in the foreground is closed off now.

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Brooklyn Post Office

The Post Office building is still there.

[What's the address? - Dave]

Sharp people

Along with faster film emulsion, another reason that walking people in the photo are in relatively sharp focus is that they are far enough from the lens to make the distance they travel across the negative during the exposure, which I would guess to be around 1/10th of a second, to be very short.

I am guessing too that the domed tower in the far background is Brooklyn Borough Hall, which is, thank goodness, still in place.


Is that a Police wagon down the street?

[That's a delivery wagon. - Dave]

Little Tramps

WOW!! A city full of Charlie Chaplins.


No questions, not much of a comment, other than to say thanks for a gorgeous photograph!

Are they still there?

Is the post office building or the Brooklyn Eagle building still standing? If not, what's replaced? Has anyone any images which show it?

[See above. - Dave]


Is this an example of a cable car track, conduit electrification or - as I suspect - two side by side sets of tracks; in other words northbound and southbound lines. If you look at the overhead at the "Theatre Stop" sign you'll see two wires running down the street. I would suspect that what we're seeing as a groove is a way to keep the space for the flanges of the wheels uniform to avoid derailments. If I can judge gauge by the wheels of the wagons the spacing would seem to be right.

Oh, and by the way, is that a streetcar (with its pole up) heading toward us, just above the horse and wagon on the right side of the street?

Cable Car

People often see the slot between the tracks in Manhattan photos and assume they are looking at cable car tracks, while it is actually a conduit electrification. I assume this photo shows Montague Street in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Heights Railroad operated cable cars on Montague Street from the Wall Street Ferry to the Borough Hall area ( from 1891 until 1909.

Joe Thompson

[Or would this be Washington Street. The Eagle's address was 207 Washington at Johnson. And if the streetcar was a cable car, what's the overhead trolley wire for? - Dave]


I see rails on the street, plz excuse my lack of knowledge, but r those for trains??

[They're for streetcars. - Dave]

Brooklyn Eagle

Dave would it be possible to get a nice close up of the eagle statue over the "Brooklyn Eagle" door?

Smoking Concerts

The exact opposite of what we're doing today. I guess they were saying that during theses concerts you could smoke and not that the music was so hot, it smoked.

[The smoking concert, a holdover from Victorian England, was traditionally a stag affair. - Dave]

Pre-automobile NY

Time after time it never seizes to amaze me how pre-automobile and pre-skyscraper NY was actually an overseas London! The streets, the buildings, the bowler hats - it seems as if America hadn't been born yet back then.

Please clear this up

I admit to not knowing much about photography but please explain why the moving people aren't blurred in this extremely clear early photo.

[With a fast emulsion and short exposure time, you won't see blurring. This isn't an "early" photo. Photography had been around for well over 60 years in 1906. - Dave]

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