nyc history

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I came across this picture taken on June 14, 1913 months ago when combing the Library of Congress’ photostream on Flickr and saved it immediately. I love its feel!

Story behind the photo: Finley Johnson Shepard (1867-1942) was the Eastern representative of the Missouri Pacific Railroad and his wife, Helen Miller Gould (1868-1938) was an American philanthropist and socialite from NYC. Helen’s father was wealthy American Railroad developer, Jay Gould. Finley and Helen were married on January 22, 1913 and soon afterwards, they adopted 3 children together and had one foster son.  Their first adopted son was a 3-year old found on the steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral!  This picture was taken at the Newport Cup polo match at Meadow Brook Field (now The Meadowbrook Polo Club) in Long Island. photo source

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On June 13, 1927, Aviator Charles Lindbergh was honored for his solo flight across the Atlantic with a ticker tape parade down Broadway in NYC! I love this photo of the flurry of paper falling from the office buildings above- it almost looks like snow. So beautiful, although horribly wasteful!
(photo source)

This photo, “Fresh Air Outing”, was taken 100 years ago in NYC.  We love the bows in the girls’ hair! (photo source)

(1883 click here to view larger)

The Brooklyn Bridge, originally called the East River Bridge, opened 130 years ago today on May 24, 1883. Here are some of my favorite images of the bridge from the 1870s to the early 1900s.  I love the construction pictures!  Click on each image to enlarge.

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We love this former Church on the Southwest corner of Washington Square Park in NYC’s West Village.  Novare (135 West 4th Street) was originally built in 1860 as a Methodist church and in 2006, it was transformed into a gorgeous, unique residential building.  From

The former church now houses an awe-inspiring fifty-foot glass atrium and eight private residences with distinctly modern interiors, while the heavy stone facade, exquisite detailing and stained glass windows remain. It is distinguished by its dual identity; the stone façade gives way to an almost ethereal world of light, space, comfort, and silence within.

The interior is bright and expansive:
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[New York Giants Opening Day line-up at the Polo Grounds [New York]. Left to right: Fred Snodgrass, Tillie Shafer, George Burns, Larry Doyle, Red Murray, Fred Merkle, Buck Herzog, Chief Meyers (baseball)]  (LOC)

100 years ago today: the New York Giants’ opening day line-up at the Polo Grounds.

Happy Easter! We love this photo of 5th Avenue taken on Easter of 1913. Click to enlarge. (source)

[New York Female Giants (baseball)] (LOC)

We love this picture of the New York Female Giants pitcher taken in 1913!

The New York Public Library is the second largest library in the United States, standing only behind The Library of Congress.  It contains nearly 53 million items!  At the turn of the 20th century, the organizers of the library chose their location in the center of Manhattan on Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd streets.  These blocks were formally occupied by the Croton Reservoir, which was demolished in 1898.   Construction for the main branch of the New York Public Library began in May of 1902 and took almost ten years to complete.  President Taft attended the opening ceremony on May 23, 1911 and the library opened to the public the following day, May 24th.

Fun Fact: Did you know that the two marble lions at the entrance of the library have nicknames?  When the library first opened, they were nicknamed Leo Astor and Leo Lenox after New York Public Library founders John Jacob Astor and James Lenox.  Later, they were called Lady Astor and Lord Lenox.  In the 1930′s, Mayor Fiorello Laguardia renamed them Patience and Fortitude, stating that these were the qualities New Yorkers would need to survive the depression.  These are the nicknames they go by today.

I love these pictures of the library under construction! Continue reading


On January 16, 1938, Benny Goodman became the first Jazz bandleader to play at Carnegie Hall. Goodman, widely known as “The King of Swing”, was an American Jazz and Swing musician, clarinetist, and bandleader. His publicist came up with the idea of performing Jazz at Carnegie in late 1937 and by January of 1938, they made the dream a reality. The concert sold out weeks in advance, with tickets going for a top price of $2.75! The concert has an important place in music history, as it solidified Jazz music’s place in mainstream culture.

Above, listen to one of our favorite Jazz pieces performed by Benny Goodman and his orchestra- “Sing, Sing, Sing” by Louis Prima.

Marian Anderson became the first African-American member of the Metropolitan Opera when she made her debut on January 7, 1955.  Above, is her beautiful version of “Ave Maria” by Schubert.

[Prospect Park Entrance, 1894 source]

The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch located at the entrance to Prospect Park in Brooklyn was constructed between the years of 1889 and 1892. President Grover Cleveland led the unveiling in 1892. In 1894, Park Commissioner Frank Squire asked sculptor Frederick William MacMonnies to create the bronze sculptures to sit atop the arch. In 1895, sculptures of Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant were added to the interior arch walls. When Frederick MacMonnies added the Army and Navy sculptures in 1895, the arch was complete!

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Maypole at Seward Park, NYC (1890)


Click through for a photo collection of New York City children from 1890-1990! Continue reading

(Broadway, looking North to Union Square. 1891 source)

Click through to see the same view 121 years later! Continue reading

Columbus Circle, 1912 (source)

100 years later… Continue reading

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