Greenwich Village resident and Ashcan School artist John Sloan depicted many scenes of early 20th century New York City life, and he seemed to have a special fondness for the old elevated trains that once criss-crossed the city’s avenues.
He painted Jefferson Market in 1917, with the Sixth Avenue El in the foreground. The el is now gone and high-rises dot Sixth Avenue, but Jefferson Market itself looks largely the same today.
Sixth Avenue Elevated at Third Street is from 1928. There’s Jefferson Market again, in the distance.
The El ran from 59th Street and Sixth Avenue, abruptly snaked down West Third Street to West Broadway, then made its way to Rector Street. It was torn down in the 1930s, its fate referenced in an e.e. cummings poem.