Categories
Landmarks

Flatiron Building: A Three-Sided Story

PODCAST For our 8th anniversary episode, we’re revisiting one of New York City’s great treasures and a true architectural oddity — the Flatiron Building. When they built this structure at the corner of Madison Square Park (and completed in 1902), did they realize it would be an architectural icon AND one of the most photographed buildings […]

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Neighborhoods

Inside Gimbels traverse, the secret perch near Herald Square

Looking up to the Gimbels traverse overhead on 32nd Street (Flickr/Docking Bay 93) One of our podcast listeners Alexander Rea sent over the following photographs of a tucked-away place in one of the busiest areas of New York City — the Gimbels traverse on W. 32nd Street, in the Herald Square shopping district. No doubt you’ve […]

Categories
Neighborhoods

The link between Ladies Mile and the New York Public Library

Arnold, Constable and Co’s new Fifth Avenue store.  Today it house the lending library for the New York Public Library. When did Ladies Mile — New York’s elegant Gilded Age shopping district — finally become un-fashionable? Unlike the slow demise of so many neighborhoods in the city’s past, the end of Ladies Mile was closely […]

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Neighborhoods Podcasts

The sumptuous story of Ladies’ Mile: Traces of cast-iron grandeur, the architectural delights of the Gilded Age

The opening of Siegel-Cooper department store, 1896, created one of the great mob scenes of the Gilded Age.  Today, TJ Maxx and Bed Bath and Beyond occupy this once-great commercial palace.  PODCAST  Ladies’ Mile — the most famous New York shopping district in the 19th century and the “heart of the Gilded Age,” a district […]

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Gilded Age New York Neighborhoods

Chelsea and the Chocolate Factory (or rather, Hershey and his Sixth Avenue chewing gum plant)

Hershey’s employees cut and pack chewing gum at Sixth Avenue and 21st Street. For five glorious years in the early 1920s, Hershey’s Chocolate operated a candy plant at Sixth Avenue, in the neighborhood of Chelsea. While chocolate bars and chocolate coating for other candies were produced here, the Chelsea plant primarily focused on a new […]

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Neighborhoods

Lord & Taylor’s splashy move to Fifth Avenue in 1914, to the “very centre of the sphere of fashionable activity”

Lord & Taylor’s at Fifth Avenue and 38th Street, in the 1920s, photo by the Wurts Brothers (courtesy NYPL)Loehmann’s, the once-great Brooklyn-based department store, closes all their locations for good tomorrow, another causality of the changing economy and people’s changing tastes in shopping. But let’s not dwell on the decline of the department store. Let’s […]

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Neighborhoods Podcasts

The many lives of the Limelight, aka the facade formerly known as the Church of the Holy Communion

Above: The Church of the Holy Communion — and once the quite infamous nightclub Limelight — as the less lauded follow-up, called Avalon.  Within a couple years, the club would be transformed again — into a high-end retail experience.  Below: Michael Alig, one of its more notorious nightly residents. (source)PODCAST If you had told 1840s […]

Categories
Those Were The Days

May 1st is Moving Day (or at least it used to be)

May 1st used to be the day that yearly apartment leases ended, resulting in a fury of chaotic furniture relocation known as Moving Day. The April 25, 1897 New York Tribune insert below gently lampoons the event. This was really the worst traffic day in New York each year, as thousands of people shuffled around […]

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Gilded Age New York Podcasts

Electric New York: From gaslight to Edison’s Pearl Street Station, illuminating the shadows, re-visualizing the night

The soft luminescence of electric light brings a mysterious glow to City Hall, the New York World Building and the newly opened City Hall subway station in 1904. PODCAST The streets of New York have been lit in various ways through the decades, from the wisps of whale-oil flame to the modern comfort of gas […]

Union Square and the demise of ‘Dead Man’s Curve’

The photo above shows the southwest corner of Union Square in the year 1906. For many years prior, this corner was the scene of several brutal accidents between cable cars and pedestrians. When the Metropolitan Traction Company (now doing business as the powerful New York City Railway Company) ripped out the cable lines and replaced […]