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The Village: 1905

The Village: 1905

New York City circa 1905. "Jefferson Market Courthouse." Now a library. Looking down West 10th Street at Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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I had an ancestor who lived near Patchin Place and ran a grocery in the Village I wonder if that's the one?

Cardboard Jefferson Market

I love Halloween. I love the jefferson Market library. The Village Halloween parade goes up 6th Ave RIGHT ALONGSIDE the Jefferson market Library!

Trick or Treat

I love this building and I paint it all the time. I dressed up as the Library once for Halloween!

It's huge!

And really impressive. There's a long, spiral staircase leading to the second floor that is completely dizzying. The stained glass windows are beautiful.

Pastiche and Present

Any structure this non-conformist and excessive will win me over every time. What's not to love about this quirky gift from the past? Part of what makes it so wonderful is that it refuses to be neatly pigeon-holed into any pat architectural classification. While I don't feel a very strong Venetian vibe going on here, the Gothic (and Romanesque) aesthetic is happily blatant. I think that the folks at have nailed it with the label "High Victorian Gothic neo-late romanesque."

Long and Winding History

As you can imagine, Jefferson Market Courthouse saw plenty of drama and high profile cases. Harry K. Thaw and The Triangle Shirtwaist Company were two big names associated with it. Before it was a library, and even before it was a courthouse, it was a market and a fire tower.

Yankee Doodle Laundry

I don't know what delights me more -- the billboard advertising "Yankee Doodle Comedian" George M. Cohan and his Big Singing-Dancing Company in "Little Johnny Jones," or the clotheslines strung out on the rooftops behind the hoarding.


I love buildings in this style. Glad to see it lives still and did not meet the same fats as many of its contemporaries.I love the full size too. The details are pretty cool, like the walkway on the rooftop for the billboard hangers to walk on, laundry drying, and the funniest part, the cop in the street giving the guy in the stairway the big staredown! (Gotta admit he does look suspicious.)

Reminds me of a poem

by William Henry Davies:

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

I refer to the policeman standing in the middle of junction, arms behind his back like policemen all over the world. Perhaps he is on traffic duty but he doesn't seem to be making much effort.

John Sloan In New York

One of the best of the Ashcan School--the same building in this John Sloan painting of 1917.


Can we get an enlargement of the roof of the courthouse? Straight up from the main entrance on the left side of the building, near the bottom of the large roof there appears to be a name, like "N. LANY". Maybe some kid snuck up there, or a worker did it and didn't think anybody would ever notice.

Jefferson Market architecture

What a remarkable building, and remarkable also that it survives intact, including the massive and somewhat top-heavy-appearing tower. Often such things were lopped off, if the building wasn't demolished in toto. I had originally thought this architecture was Romanesque Revival, but further research reveals that it's more like Venetian Gothic. Both styles were very popular in the late Victorian Era, and fell out of favor as the early 20th Century progressed, in fact becoming somewhat emblematic of the whole concept of old-fashioned. Ornate and massive was out and streamlined and airy was in, and lots of people welcomed the idea of these buildings being reduced to rubble. We really miss something by not seeing this one in color, which you can do at its Wikipedia page.

Look into Milwaukee City Hall

This picture reminded me of Milwaukee City Hall except this building is way too top-heavy.

Hopefully Shorpy will find an exterior and interior of one of the last great Flemish Revival city halls in the world.

Street corner fountain

Great photo. My eye kept wandering back to the street level fountain at the building's corner because it looked vaguely familiar. Then it struck me; there's a very similar fountain at the Sharon Lodge in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, built in 1885.

Main difference seems to be in size -- and possibly intent. The GG Park version was designed for people while the basin in the NYC version looks like it's horse-sized.

I'm always amazed

to see so many streetcars in these old pictures.

My Favorite Library

What a beauty, both inside and out. There is also a large garden with gorgeous roses at the south end of the building.

Pause to refresh

One Moxie ad and none for Coca Cola?


Would that be circa 1905 graffiti on the roof?

Basin street views

What in the world is the basin-like feature at the base of the high tower? It looks exactly like a Baptismal font -- but this is a courthouse -- and it's outside, to boot! If it is another one of those zany combo people/horse fountains, the horses would have to step up on the sidewalk to use it. The puddles/stains around the area also are a little disquieting.


I love these big old buildings that look like castles. The stunningly fine details of these photos takes my breath away. The sign reading keeps me very entertained as well.

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