“Sixth Avenue North From 47th Street”

The old and new city collide in this 1936 dreamy depiction of two girls at the edge of the Sixth Avenue El by John J. Soble.

“Filled in the foreground with dark tenement buildings, rooftop life, and elevated train tracks, the painting gives way in the distance to Rockefeller Center’s soaring masses, rising from the older skyline,” reads the caption under the painting in New York: An Illustrated History.

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7 Responses to ““Sixth Avenue North From 47th Street””

  1. petey Says:

    to think there used to be residences on that stretch.

  2. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    I love the two girls atop the building…

  3. Force Tube Avenue Says:

    Here’s something to ponder: if they tried to build Rockefeller Center today, would it be roundly condemned as “out of character” with the surrounding neighborhood, and then stopped?

    • petey Says:

      as a native and lifelong resident of manhattan, i support the process of review for this kind of thing, and if the neighbors found it intolerable, would be able to live with their decision.

      but of course it might not be “roundly condemned” as out of character in this hypothetical, and might have been built today all the same. then again, the pennsylvania hotel is going to be demolished and some tower put in its place despite the fact that said tower has been roundly condemned.

  4. Eric Says:

    Great painting! Interesting the resemblance to Hugh Ferris’ renderings of about the same time or a little earlier.

  5. wildnewyork Says:

    Cool comparison! I didn’t know about Ferris until I Googled him upon reading your comment. A good subject for a future Ephemeral post.

  6. schedule Says:


    “Sixth Avenue North From 47th Street” | Ephemeral New York

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