Judging from the lack of automobile traffic on 14th Street, Broadway, and University Place—as well as the streetcar trolleys and horse and carriages—I’d guess this photo is from just about the turn of the 20th century.
It’s a great picture. There’s a statue at the southwest corner of Union Square, but it certainly isn’t Ghandi, who occupies that spot now.
Instead of Whole Foods we’ve got Automatic Vaudeville, a penny arcade offering a basement shooting gallery, peep shows, and phonographs in individual listening booths—kind of what the Virgin Megastore had for customers who wanted to sample music before they closed up shop last month.
And in place of Forever 21 is Brill Brothers, a men’s clothing store.
Tags: 14th street shopping, Automatic Vaudeville, Brill Brothers, New York at the turn of the 20th century, New York in the 1900s, trolleys on the streets of New York, Union Square old photo, University Place