Turn of the century Cooper Square

A web of elevated train tracks is flanked by sloped-roof buildings on the right and lovely Cooper Union—described in this postcard as “the Cooper Institute”—on the left.


Looks like some really sweet buildings have long since disappeared.

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16 Responses to “Turn of the century Cooper Square”

  1. Rollingrck Says:

    The website link is my collection of scans of old East Village postcards. Cooper Square and Cooper Union were popular subjects

  2. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    I used to go to St. George’s School on 6th Street right off 3rd Avenue. We were smart-ass grade school kids on the Lower East Side. I recall some of us used to gather in the park in front of Cooper Union and smoke cigarettes, I guess to prove we were adults. But I’m still amazed there were no seats or benches in that tiny park, probably because of its closeness to the Bowery. Why attract bums? I suppose…

  3. JP Says:

    Have you seen the new one there? Totally sweet!

  4. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    A fungus of big ugly buildings has swept over NY…and it seems that the deadly horribly fungus has won. Sad 😦

  5. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    Here’s what it looked like before:


  6. Sally Miller Says:

    I’d take the new one any day.

  7. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    A writer friend wrote:

    I agree that the new building is an abomination — a crass violation of
    the space and a monstrosity in and of itself. And you’re right: most of
    the new bldgs going up are like that. They’re loud and crude–like a fat
    guy shouting into his cell phone on the Path train…

    (Wasn’t able to get in, something was blocking him.)

  8. wildnewyork Says:

    Loud and crude, definitely. But speaking of loud, imagine what it must have sounded like at any moment in Cooper Square back in 1900, with those trains roaring overhead constantly.

    Rolling Rock: great postcard collection–I love the drawing class/night school one.

  9. Nabe News: November 12 - Bowery Boogie | A Lower East Side Chronicle Says:

    […] postcard showing turn-of-the-century Cooper Square.  Boy, how things have changed [Ephemeral […]

  10. Alex Says:

    The new building would look a lot better at another location. Where it is now it looks completely out of place and is a big monstrocity. I’m sure the congregation of the church next door is not amused. I’d rather have the 3rd Ave El back than that.

  11. The mystery readers on a Cooper Square facade « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] is running wild in Cooper Square these days. Luckily some wisps of a much older Cooper Square survive—like the image below, which graces both […]

  12. East Villager Says:

    The old Cooper Hewitt Memorial building was far superior to the shattered-glass monstronsity. The deconstruction look is just comical, and in poor taste.

    As for noise: I would rather have those elevated trains and trolleys compared to the constant barrage of far too much private automobile traffic, sirens, trucks in the wrong gear, taxi horns, motorcycles without mufflers, and screeching drunk girls on the Bowery these days.

    On a positive note, I look forward to the expansion of the Cooper triangle park and plaza. Hopefully it will be more green than concrete.

  13. The Murray Hill double house with a link to President Lincoln | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Kentucky-born lawyer more exposure to the city. On this visit, Lincoln delivered his electrifying Cooper Union speech on slavery, which propelled him to national prominence and helped him win the presidential […]

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