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Magic Kingdom: 1931

Magic Kingdom: 1931

December 15, 1931. New York. "River House, 52nd Street and East River. View of power house." 5x7 safety negative by Gottscho-Schleisner. View full size.


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The power plant is Con Ed Waterside; the smokier stack beyond is a New York Steam plant.

The pic only spans 32 degrees edge to edge, so if this is full frame he used a 12-inch lens. He used a more normal lens for the other pic from River House.

Bank of New York

The flat-topped building is the 50-story Bank of New York, built by the Irving Trust Co. in 1929-31. Its address, 1 Wall Street at Broadway, was reputed to be the most expensive real estate in the city.


I wonder how much worse or better is the smog today in this area?

[The air back then was full of coal soot. New York today, like most big cities, is a much less smoky place than it was 80 years ago. - Dave]

Beekman Place

All I can think of is "Auntie Mame"! She lived at this trendy address. Auntie Mame was a lucky lady!

Once more on Beekman Place.

Here we are again, the buildings in the foreground are 1 Beekman Place on the left and 2 Beekman Place on the right. The smokestacks are at the Consolidated Edison site that ran from 35th to 41st Street between First Avenue and the East River. The structures as well as the smokestacks were leveled a few years ago. The area was supposed to be turned into luxury condos and office towers but the project faced delays from neighborhood opposition and the downturn in the economy.

What do we see here?

OK, perusing this vista I spy the Williamsburg Bridge, through the mist at the left, and further down the Manhattan Bridge. The tower on the far left is at Remsen and Court streets in Brooklyn (I think). The other three spires in the center are (l to r) the American International Building (a gorgeous Art Deco giant), then what's now called 40 Wall St, originally the Bank of Manhattan Trust Building, and then the magnificent Woolworth Building. Don't know what the square topped one is, but the one that seems little by comparison, just to the left of the Woolworth, is the Singer Building. I believe that the Singer was (before the destruction of the World Trade Center) the tallest building ever demolished.

The big plant in the foreground is Big Alice, the Con Ed power plant, isn't it?

Can't see a single living thing, not a human or a seagull, but the barges by the water with railroad cars are interesting.

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