The midtown block dubbed “Rubberneck Row”

These days, West 44th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues probably isn’t a double-decker tourist bus hot spot.

But it was around 1900, when this block reeked with power—home to the gorgeous headquarters for the Harvard Club, Yale Club, New York Yacht Club, and the New York Bar Association.

Rich New Yorkers lived on 44th Street’s new Algonquin and Royalton residential hotels. And they dined on the block in the city’s most prestigious restaurants, Delmonico’s (at the corner of Fifth and 44th Street in 1903, below) and Sherry’s.

No wonder this stretch of midtown was known as Rubberneck Row. As a 1905 New York Times article put it:

“This name was given to the street between Sixth and Fifth Avenues by the barkers on the sight-seeing coaches because of the frequency with which the passengers had to turn their heads from side to side to look at the Yale and Harvard Clubs, the Bar Association, and various other things of interest . . . while driving through it.”

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