“Here Broadway approaches Union Square from the south, with what is probably the midday crowd on its wide sidewalks,” states the caption of this photo, published in a fascinating book of photos, New York Then and Now.
Sure, the businesses lining this stretch of the city’s longest street have changed in 100 years; see the signs on the left for a few furriers.
The hotel on the left is the fashionable St. Denis, built in 1852 by James Renwick, better known as the architect who designed Grace Church, at right, in the 1840s. (He was also behind St. Patrick’s Cathedral.)
Broadway teems with trolleys going in both ways. It’s like a game of Frogger. No wonder pedestrians were always dodging them—not always with success.
The same view exactly a century later shows that this corner is still prime real estate, and many of the buildings survive, with nail salons, delis, restaurants, and boutiques renting space.
Too bad you can no longer see the Flatiron Building from this vantage point.