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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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The Speedway: 1905

The Speedway: 1905

New York circa 1905. "The Speedway, Harlem River." Under Washington Bridge. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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An old familiar place, long before my time

Yes, this is the Washington Bridge, over the Harlem River, connecting the Bronx with Manhattan, not the George Washington Bridge, over the Hudson River. I grew up on the Bronx side of this bridge (right side in picture) in the 1950s and walked, bicycled, rode buses, and drove across it countless times. At the time I had no idea that it was so old.


on film in 1903.

Old New York

This view is looking upriver (north). On the left is the now demolished Sherman Creek Generating Plant in Inwood. Several hundred feet south where the small dock juts into the water is the site of the Alexander Hamilton bridge. This photo is eerie in the emptiness that was upper Manhattan such a short time ago.

Harlem River Drive

View here is from the High Bridge, which was built as part of the Croton Aqueduct, which still exists and is slated to be reopened to peds in 2011. Nowadays there is a second bridge in front of Washington Bridge, which carries Interstate 95, and of course the Speedway is now part of the Harlem River Drive. The retaining wall of the Speedway Inn still exists, as well as the low retaining wall on the path below -- alas, most every other structure save the bridge is now history.

Coal Barge

Lots to love about this photo! Very interesting is the coal barge unloading station leading to a conveyor inside the tunnel. The tunnel must lead to the station at the far left, up on the hill. (The rectangular brick building with the tall brick stack.)

Also spectacular is the arched hoist frame for unloading the coal. Not to mention the single flight of stairs to the Speedway Inn, 56 steps closer to heaven!

Speedway Views

This link has several articles and postcard views of the "Speedway."

It's "High Bridge"

Great image. Thanks. However, it's not the (Geo) Washington Br. (which spans the Hudson River). This is High Bridge.

Long-time lurker and staunch b/w photographer who totally appreciates this website. Thanks for all you do.

[You're confusing Washington Bridge seen here with the George Washington Bridge. The photo was taken from the High Bridge. - Dave]

Current aerial view on Bing

You move viewpoint around and even rotate to views from different sides.

I recognize that bridge!

If it is the one I'm assuming it is, I've passed by it hundreds of times, on the way to New Jersey via the Cross Bronx Express way.

The whole area is . . . well, cluttered hardly fits the bill.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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