Posts Tagged ‘New York in the gilded age’

Fall fashion: must-have clothes for men in 1911

August 15, 2014

This week, dozens of thick September fashion magazines have hit newsstands, all celebrating the hottest trends and styles for fall.

Fallstylebookcover

In 1911, fashion-forward men and the women who shopped for them had this Fall Style Book to guide them. That man holding the reins is wearing one incredibly long tan coat!

Interesting that the image is set in front of the 42nd Street main branch of the New York Public Library—the building had its dedication and grand opening just a few months earlier.

[Image: NYPL Digital Gallery]

A French artist’s moody, magical New York

December 3, 2012

Born in Paris in 1875, Charles Constantin Hoffbauer studied under top 19th century French masters and painted scenes all over Europe.

Hoffbauermadisonsquare

In New York on commission in 1906, he captured the city’s many moods: enchanting rain-slicked sidewalks in Times Square (below), the blue glow of twilight at Madison Square (above), and the festive lights blazing over a snow-covered Theater District (last painting).

Hoffbauerimessquareatnight

Hoffbauer’s city is on the move. Pedestrians dart between automobiles, and horse-drawn carriages and cars navigate traffic jams. These scenes all look like the occur at twilight, that in-between time when the workday ends and evening entertainment begins.

Hoffbauerwintryevetimessquare1927

These paintings were created between 1906 and 1927. Though he returned to his home country after his time in New York, Hoffbauer arrived in the U.S. for good in 1941, having escaped occupied France with an eye toward becoming an American citizen.

New York’s Gilded Age flower vendors

November 8, 2010

“Flower vendor’s display” this postcard states in the lower left corner.

Could this be Sixth Avenue in the 20s, then—and now—the site of the city’s flower district?

The flower district is dwindling fast; it’s mostly confined to 28th Street between Seventh Avenue and Broadway these days.

The most beautiful creature since Helen of Troy

September 18, 2010

That’s how many Gilded Age New Yorkers described Lillian Russell—actress, singer, and arguably one of the world’s first celebrities ever in the 1880s and 1890s.

Born Helen Louise Leonard in 1861, she moved to New York at 18 and immediately found success, making her Broadway debut in 1877 at Tony Pastor’s Casino Theater near Union Square.

Now a star and noted for her gorgeous “peaches and cream” complexion, she performed at other Broadway theaters, like Weber and Fields Music Hall at 29th Street and Abbey’s Theatre at 38th Street.

There was no paparazzi to document her social life, but the public was fascinated by her comings and goings—she was the companion of superrich financier Diamond Jim Brady.

The two dined together in the new Times Square lobster palaces and took up the new sport of bicycling in Central Park, according to Upper West Side Story by Peter Salwen.

Once she retired from the stage in 1919, she did what many of today’s celebrities do: She pursued political and social causes.

She was a big proponent of women’s suffrage, and before her death in 1922, she investigated immigration reform for President Harding (she recommended a five-year moratorium on it). 

The heyday of The Plaza

September 17, 2008

With the newly condo-ized Plaza enduring some bad press these days (a lawsuit by a disgruntled Russian hedge fund king, for example), let’s take a look back at when The Plaza was New York’s premier luxury hotel, a symbol of old-world glamour and sophistication . . . and carriage-ride central, of course.

This mid-century postcard boasts of the “many air-conditioned guest rooms” and “five famous restaurants.” What, no Trader Vic’s?

Curbed has lots of Plaza coverage: legal issues, tacky drainage problems, floorplan porn, and eight-figure penthouse prices. 


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