A crowd forms on Sixth Avenue and 14th Street

“Ashcan School” artist John Sloan really had a thing for the Sixth Avenue El. Several of his paintings depict the El at Third Street or Eighth Street; Jefferson Market Courthouse can often be seen in the distance.


Here he highlights the next stop on the El, at 14th Street. It’s still a major shopping crossroads. Currently a Starbucks and Urban Outfitters occupy the Southeast corner, past the “Shoes” marquee in the painting.

The building across the street with the pointed turret is still there. Down toward Seventh Avenue looms the Salvation Army headquarters, also still in existence.

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10 Responses to “A crowd forms on Sixth Avenue and 14th Street”

  1. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    And the Armory still stands in this painting unlike that ugly facade of a military building they put up in its place. SW corner. Took it down sometime in the 1960s or 70s

  2. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    Oops, I meant NW corner. Sorry…

  3. wildnewyork Says:

    Wow, I never knew there was a real armory there! The building they called the armory was indeed very ugly.

  4. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:


    This from 1997 have no idea what’s been done with it

  5. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    McBurney YMCA

    125: Probably the most historic Y branch in the country moved here from 23rd Street in 2002, on the former site of the oppressive 244th Coast Artillery Armory


    Got this from Songlines (scroll up)

  6. wildnewyork Says:

    Yeah, the Y is much, much nicer than the Armory was. I think it may have served as a homeless shelter in the 80s.

  7. Joe R Says:

    Did you notice the NRA blue eagle just under the shoe store sign? Also, I believe that the store just behind the same sign used to be Macy’s old location before they moved to Herald Square.

  8. PizzaBagel Says:

    The NRA blue eagle would have meant that this painting was from the ’30s or ’40s. Correct me if wrong, but wasn’t the Ashcan School from the late 1800s to early 1900s? But, Joe R, you might have put your finger on it after all. The blue “eagle” might be a blue star — the star being the symbol of Macy’s.

    • Joe R Says:

      That’s an interesting thought but I know that Macy’s moved “uptown” before World War 1. As for the timing of the picture, it’s definitely ’30’s. Besides the NRA sign, there’s also a car at left-center which looks very ’30’s, and the 6th Avenue El itself was demolished in the late ’30’s.
      Also, I just had the weird thought that this line, running right behind the Empire State Building up at 34th Street must have been the El that ol’ King Kong destroys in the original film!

  9. william Says:

    where can I get a print?

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