In late 19th century New York, Fifth Avenue reigned as Millionaires Row. But by the time this postcard was produced around 1910, the stretch of Fifth Avenue north of 32nd Street was shedding its reputation as a wealthy residential enclave.
The rich were migrating northward. Posh mansions were being razed to make way for commercial buildings, like offices and hotels.
No hotel was as extravagant as the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, the building on the left with the flag.
Built as separate hotels in the early 1890s on the site of two former Astor family mansions, it was combined in 1897.
Times Shutter features a similar postcard, with some info about the hotel (it was the largest in the world, a gathering place for the rich and ostentatious, and the first to allow unchaperoned women!) as well a photo of the same stretch of Fifth today.
Today, the hotel is gone (the Empire State Building took its place two decades later), as is two-way traffic and that lovely streetlight on the left.
Gone too is Fifth Avenue with a quaint, unhurried feel.
[Another view of the Waldorf-Astoria, from 34th Street, right]