Broadway and East 10th Street: 1911 vs. 2011

“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.

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27 Responses to “Broadway and East 10th Street: 1911 vs. 2011”

  1. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    In the early 70s that white building on the corner of 11th Street & Broadway was a burnt out shell peopled by winos and bums who sat and slept on the side stairs of the building. I worked for a time at Grove Press, down the street, and always stopped in after work at Broadway Charlie’s a great bar on B’way filled with hippie drinkers and losers. Man, the drunkeness I felt there, whew! But we were only a few blocks north of the Bowery and some of us stayed there, never getting any farther…Boy, does time fly.

    • Ken Says:

      Hi Mick; Broadway Charlie’s and the White Horse were my two standard stops in the early to mid 70’s. I was stationed on a destroyer over in Throggs Neck and spent weekends in Manhattan. I loved Charlie’s. Had a family feel to it. One Christmas they took up a collection to send one of the bartenders back to Montana to visit family

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    Thanks Mick. You know, I forgot to get back to you about Julian’s, the pool hall on 14th. I’ve been itching to do a post on it for a while. I think it was in the building that now houses PC Richard, on the other side of the Palladium dorm. Does that sound right? I’ve heard some good stories about it.

  3. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    I’m sure it was torn down but I haven’t been there in a number of years. They had a great big Academy of Music sign on the wall


    The windows underneath the wall are the pool hall, see the Billiards sign outside

  4. Lisa Says:

    Julian’s wasn’t quite as far west as where PC Richards now is– it was the building to the immediately east of the Palladium. I’ve confirmed this with my husband, who wasted countless hours of his youth at Julian’s, in the late ’70’s.

    But, where was Luchow’s, in the scheme of things? I believe it was on that block, too. I remember it’s being there, when I moved to NY in 1979. (Or, have I created this memory from bits & pieces I’ve read?)

  5. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    Luchow’s was a small three story building that stood west of Julian’s

    Back when 14th Street was alive

    • wildnewyork Says:

      Great photos, thanks for the links. I’m putting a Julian’s post on the docket…..

    • Merrill Says:

      Broadway Charlie’s was one of the best bars that ever existed in NYC Looking for information,there is Nothing… Jon Paris,Odevei Gorge, Moonbeam, Robert Ross etc. Others are just copies except CBGBs and Rodeo Bar , Terre Blues, Arhurs. Why no information on a wonderful place? Oh yes….Tramps. Club 55

      • mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

        I allude to Broadway Charlie’s a few times in my book 100 Whores, but very briefly. It was a place to stop off from my walking about the East Village

      • Robert Pullman Says:

        Bway Charlies; I think the owner’s (founder’s) name was Bill Graves. I went there a few times since I knew one of the bartenders, a burly Cuban who went by Sabu. There were some memorable music and poetry sessions there.

      • JT Nichols Says:

        I used to drink there with some people from theater for the new city. We onced actually got kicked out (hard to do..) when someone got caught dancing on a table waving a flaming newspaper over his head. Saw johnny winter walk in at 2am once and join the flabbergasted guy doing his first gig on stage!

      • Robert Pullman Says:

        RE: Johnny Winter walked in at 2am. A lot of well-known artists, musicians, and writers hung out (Max’s, St Adrians, Hilly’s, 9th Circle,..) back then.

      • Kenneth Hagan Says:

        I started going to Broadway Charlie’s when I would hitch hike up from North Carolina, I was happy to see Peter Stampfel and the Unholy Modal Rounders there on several occasions, amongst others. I recall the multiple ceiling fans all connected with one fan belt. I am glad to finally see some other info on this great bar, for some reason I had thought it had been down the other side of Union Square like around 17th….but that didn’t seem right. I joined the Merchant Marines and stayed on 15th street from late 70s til 93 when shipping in NYC, I guess Dan Lynch was the closest thing to Charlies……..and it was great for a pretty long run, and Nightingales near by. Well, it is all over now….Great , great memories, and some forgotten ones I am betting on too.

  6. Alex Says:

    There were as lot of antique stores in that area, only a few of them remain. There was also a great record store that had an amazing back catalog of new and vintage records, just south of Strand Bookstore at 822 Broadway, I think it was called Dalton’s.

  7. Lisa Says:

    Some remembrances of Broadway circa ’79, when I first arrived at this city’s teeming shore, and lived on Union Square West.

    I remember lots of envelope manufacturers on Broadway, a little further south. “Unique Clothing Warehouse” was Broadway’s anchor retail tenant, for the most part it was otherwise pretty industrial.

    A health food store on the corner of 17th Street & Union Square West (?) named “Brownies”.

    A novelty store on Fifth Ave & 16th Street called “B. Shackman & Co”.

    Max’s Kansas City was still at Union Square East & 17th Street, of course. Andy Warhol’s office was still on Union Square, and you’d catch sight of him in the neighborhood occassionally. There was some sort of club at Broadway & 17th (?) where Petco now is, though I can’t remember the name.

  8. wildnewyork Says:

    Thanks Lisa. I’ve been planning a post on Brownie’s actually. It was one of the first “health food” stores, as they were called back then.

    And I think the B. Shackman sign is still up on the corner.

  9. Lisa Says:

    Wow, you mean I’m not the only person who remembers Brownies? I think I bought my first bottle of Dr. Bronners magic soap there (“All One or none. ALL ONE OR NONE!) I spent far too many hours of my youth lounging in the tub, reading those wacky, inscrutable labels!

    (For those of you who haven’t seen it, I highly recommend the documentary “Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox”, available from Netflix.)

  10. Alex Says:

    I used to shop regularly at Brownies, on 5th Ave near 17th Street. B. Shackman & Co was an amazing store, like a stroll back to 1940s style stationery and party favors.

  11. Saim Says:

    The pictures that are on here are really amazing!

    I was wondering if I would be able to use any of the old images that you have for a poster that I am making for a college video festival?

    Please get back to me as soon as you can. Thank you

    • JT Nichols Says:

      Anyone remember the grass roots bar on e. 8Th, between 2nd and 3rd, and the downstairs bar across the street? As the 70s went by lesbians gravitated to the one across the st., cant remember the name..

  12. chris niggle Says:

    I used to drink and play pool at Charlies around 1972-73. It was a great dive bar. Friendly drunks, strong drinks, low prices.

  13. Wendy Erdman-Surlea Says:

    I met my future husband at Broadway Charlie’s in 1977.

  14. JT Nichols Says:

    Does anyone remember a bar in the 70s called Changes?

  15. Bob Oaks Says:

    I lived in a couple of places in the E. Village throughout the ’70’s. I remember B’Way Charlie’s as the best bar to shoot pool. They had a chalk board to mark your place for a turn. It was a gas if you could hold the table for more than an hour, cause the wait could be that long to get back on.

    Closer to home for me were Stanley’s, Old Stanley’s, the Kiwi Club, the Frog Pond, the Grass Roots Tavern (the one on St. Marks Place), the American Bar on E. 6th St. (a scene from Peter Boyle’s “Joe” was shot there), and, of course, the venerable McSorley’s — the only one remaining, I guess.

    All hail, dive bars of yore. I moved to Seattle in 1980 and saw the last days of the old Place Pigalle in Pike’s Place Market before it got gentrified. Diversity anyone?

  16. Bob Oaks Says:

    Changes. Maybe Ave. A and E. 11th St. vicinity?

  17. Fred Says:

    In the 1950 movie “Harvey,” reference is made to a bar called Charlie’s Place, located at 12th and Main (very similar address to.Charlie’s on Broadway). In the movie, this is where Jimmy Stewart and his 6 foot tall “pooka” rabbit friend, Harvey, hang out. When the real-life Charlie’s closed, a billiard equipment showroom opened in its place. Positioned in the display window of this showroom was a 6 foot tall stuffed Bugs-Bunny-like rabbit holding a pool stick! Does anyone know if there is a connection here or is it just an extremely strange coincidence?

  18. reg appleyard Says:

    ~ in ’77 me & my buddy Russ just hangin’-10 in Village, stayin’ at The Waverly, Wash-Sqr-Park & found B’way Charlies & went in for a few beers & shoot some pool,, well it became our Fave Bar, shot pool there every nite for @ a wk. & 1-nite we go in & to our awed-surprise,1 guy says; ” shit,, here comes them M-Fk’in JAMES Brothers again !! ”,, i guess for a couple o’ Canuck-white boys we held the table so often&long we got a rep., hahaha,, even Big Jim Eaves, who was playin’ 1 nite said ‘ yep, here’s them Canadians Again ! ” & bought us a beer…. it was a hoot, guess LadyLuck was on our side …, what a FaB bar !!!…. Reg.

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