This picture was taken on January 17, 1907- 117 years ago today! The shot depicts the construction of the stacks in the main branch of the New York Public Library. After almost a decade of construction, the main building had its opening ceremony on May 23, 1911. For more history and pictures of the library under construction, read my post “Then and Now: New York Public Library“.
Pictures of the stacks in the 2010s:
Happy Birthday, Radio City Music Hall! On December 27, 1932, Radio City Music Hall opened its doors to the public! Construction began on the project in 1930 on land leased by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. His original plan was to help gentrify the neighborhood (coined the “speakeasy belt”) by building a new Metropolitan Opera House but the idea was scratched after the stock market crash of 1929 and Rockefeller instead opted to create a complex of buildings (Rockefeller Center) to attract commercial tenants. Another plan that was changed was the name of the music hall Rockefeller decided to build in this complex. Originally, the name was going to be the “International Music Hall” but was changed to “Radio City Music Hall” when the Radio Corporation of America became one of the complex’s first tenants. Working on the project along with Rockefeller were Samuel Roxy Rothafel (of the Roxy Theatre/Rockettes) and RCA chairman David Sarnoff.
On December 5, 1933 – 80 years ago today- prohibition officially ended when Utuh became the 36th state to endorse the ratification of the 21st Amendment of the Constitution. After the 13 year alcohol ban was over, Americans happily took to their local restaurants and bars to celebrate. I love these old pictures!
On November 13, 1927, The Clifford Milburn Holland Tunnel opened, connecting Manhattan to Jersey City! Some interesting facts about the tunnel:
-The tunnel was named after the chief engineer on the project, who passed away from a heart attack before it was complete- sadly, just days before the NJ and NY sides of the tunnel were about to meet in 1924. His successor, Milton Freeman, also died 5 months later! This left the third chief engineer, Ole Singstad, with the task of finishing the tunnel. (source)
-The tunnel cost $54,000,000- equivalent to around $700,000,000 today! (source)
-The tunnel took 7 years to complete, with construction beginning on February 1, 1920. (source)
-Number of ceiling tiles: 3.1 million | Number of wall tiles: 2.9 million (source)
Keep reading to view old photos of the tunnel under construction and its early days!
(The Great Bartholdi Statue: Liberty Enlightening the World, 1886 source)
Happy Birthday, Statue of Liberty! The Statue of Liberty, designed by French sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi, was a gift from France and took 21 years from its conception (1865) to its completion in New York Harbor. After years of struggling to raise the money for the pedestal (France required the US would provide), the statue finally made its way to America on June 17, 1885 and by April of 1886, the pedestal was complete and construction began placing Lady Liberty on her outlook from Bedloe’s Island. The Statue of Liberty opened on October 28, 1886 with a dedication ceremony led by President Grover Cleveland and a parade that traveled from Madison Square to the southern tip of the Manhattan!
Today is also another special day for The Statue of Liberty: today, the statue reopened exactly one year after closing due to the damage caused from Hurricane Sandy! In honor of its 127th birthday and reopening, I put together some old photos and illustrations of The Statue of Liberty under construction and at its unveiling. Click on images to enlarge.
Happy Birthday, Rita Hayworth! Rita was born Margarita Carmen Cansino on October 17, 1918 in Brooklyn, New York. She was one of the biggest stars of the 1940s and her story is fascinating. Today, I came across an article called “Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Rita Hayworth, Tragic Princess” and couldn’t believe how interesting her life was. From her transformation from Latina Margarita into red-headed Rita, to her many rocky marriages and hardships…I hadn’t known about the woman behind the pin-up picture and upbeat dance numbers with Fred Astaire. I just ordered her biography so I can learn more!
Ray Charles was born “Ray Charles Robinson” on September 23, 1930 in Albany, GA. He would have turned 83 today! Here are a few of my favorite videos of Ray performing to watch in his honor: