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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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Gotham City: 1910

Gotham City: 1910

New York circa 1910. "Looking down Broadway from the Post Office. Singer, City Investing and Hudson Terminal Buildings." Detroit Publishing. View full size.

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New York Evening Mail

Another photo of the Singer building still under construction shows the sign. Unfortunately it is still incomplete.

The Evening Mail

The Leading Evening (...)

One Cent Buys the (...)

A view that's impossible today

The Post Office from which this picture was taken was demolished in 1938. It sat on the southern portion of what is now City Hall Park.

The Tallest in the World (for a year)

The Singer Tower also held the distinction of being the tallest building in the world - 612 feet high - from 1908 until 1909, when the Metropolitan Life Insurance Tower topped out at 700 feet.

Lost Lower Manhattan

For many years my dad would commute by Lackawanna train to Hoboken, then take the Hudson and Manhattan tube trains to Manhattan Terminal, from where he would walk across town to Wall Street. As a high-school kid, I would take the same route to visit the radio and surplus stores on Cortlandt Street. All demolished for the late, lamented World Trade Center.

High Honor

In 1968 the Singer Building earned the dubious distinction of being the Tallest Building Ever Demolished. It still holds this "honor" if you don't count the World Trade Center, which was on the site of the Hudson Terminal seen here on the right.

The suspense is killing me

How did the sign painter finish his sign?

[Or is the sign is in the process of being obliterated? - Dave]


My new favorite photo of the Singer Building.

The cars are much more of a presence than photos just five years earlier.

Thousands of windows

... in this great photo. According to my calculations, over 4,000 on the four-building group on the right.

The tower

I love this. Sometimes that kind of majestic architecture can be too big for humans, but the bustle and smoke of human activity is what comes through most in this picture. What's the metal tower top of the building across from the New York Law School?

Astor house

The many-chimneyed roof of the famous Astor house can be seen in the right foreground - Built in 1836 it would be demolished during the 1920s.

Skyline ghosts

Five of my favorite early skyscrapers here, now all long gone. Ironically, the oldest building (St. Paul's chapel) is one of the few shown that survive to this day.

The Red, White, Blue and ...?

That American flag in the foreground clearly has three colors of stripes. What's that about? Or is it really some other type of flag?


As I sit here in my air conditioned office complaining because the cool can't keep up with the heat and humidity outside (its 74 degrees in here dagnabbit) I can't imagine how insufferable it must have been in those buildings in the summer. And as I am sure you have noticed, no matter what time of year, the men always wore jackets!

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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