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Landmarks

The Astor House came tumbling down one century ago

The Astor House was New York City’s first great hotel, opened in 1836 by John Jacob Astor himself, a premier accommodation for the city throughout the 19th century.  But by 1913, it was time to tear it down. It was a symbolic moment for many older New Yorkers.  As you can tell from the image […]

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Podcasts

Welcome to 1864! A 24-karat gold hoax, New York’s first theme restaurant, and a Confederate plot to torch the city

Barnum’s American Museum at left (the building with the flag) and the Astor House at right, from the vantage of City Hall Park, circa 1850. Both buildings were victims of the Confederate plot of 1864 to burn the city. PODCAST We’re officially subtitling this ‘Strange Tales of 1864’, presenting you with a series of odd, fascinating […]

The odd bridge over Broadway vs. Knox the Hatter

The bulky and yet somewhat elegant contraption above is the short-lived Loew Bridge, which once hung over Broadway at Fulton Street back in 1867 and 1868, an early cast-iron pedestrian bridge at one of the busiest intersections in the city. It was named not for its architect, but for the comptroller of New York at […]