“New York Entrance to the Holland Tubes”

This 1920s postcard of the entrance to the Holland Tunnel looks like a Hollywood set, not real lower Manhattan.

The “tubes,” as they were known then, opened in November 1927 to incredible fanfare. The New York Times reported the next day:

“When the two flags had parted before the New York entrance, there surged beneath their drawn folds and on into the chill depths of the white-tiled, brilliantly lighted subaqueous thoroughfare, an almost solid mass of pedestrians eager to make the trip from shore to shore afoot.

“It was estimated that within an hour 20,000 or more persons had walked the entire 9,250 feet from entrance to exit, and the stream of humanity, thinning a little toward the last, continued to traverse the tunnel until 7 p.m., when it was closed until 12:01 a.m., the hour set for vehicular traffic to begin its regular, paid passage.”

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8 Responses to ““New York Entrance to the Holland Tubes””

  1. BBnet3000 Says:

    The two buildings to the right remain http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Holland+Tunnel&ie=UTF8&hl=en&geocode=FcZybQIdAoaW-w&split=0&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=23.875,57.630033&hq=&hnear=Holland+Tunnel&ll=40.72434,-74.006965&spn=0.001547,0.003484&t=h&z=19&layer=c&cbll=40.72434,-74.006965&panoid=dW9PzmAbpepuj0pBZtvKPg&cbp=12,9.21,,0,-21.34

    • wildnewyork Says:

      Wow, cool! Too bad the building with the faded ads bit the dust. And that wonderful street light!

  2. Josie Says:

    The ads on the building are intriguing! In the foreground, Beech-Nut Fruit Drops 5 cents. The candy came in solid disks, not with a hole in them like Charms. Above it, I can see “Breakfast Jam” and what appears to be a list of flavors, but I can’t make out the brand or any of the writing below. The ad on the building more in the background appears to be for bacon slices packed in boxes, but I just can’t discern the words at the top. I suppose it’s the brand but it might also say “Breakfast Bacon” as the other ad says “Breakfast Jam”. I haven’t been able to find old brands of sliced bacon.

    • wildnewyork Says:

      Thanks Josie–I was staring at it forever trying to figure out what could be “sliced in boxes.” Bacon!

  3. Josie Says:

    I made a big mistake in the previous comment, mea culpa. I took another look at those ads. Looking at them by daylight helps. It’s ‘s “Beech-Nut Jam,” not “Breakfast Jam! It turns out Beech-Nut made jams and jellies in a number of flavors, as early as 1915 and continuing for many years. Now if I could just make out the top of the sliced bacon ad, I’d be happy.

    I was going to report that the two brick buildings on the right still stand, but I see someone beat me to it. Good work. 🙂

  4. Josie Says:

    SOLVED! It’s … (drum roll) … Beech-Nut Sliced Bacon!!

    Beechnut Bacon

  5. wildnewyork Says:

    Excellent detective work Josie!

  6. petey Says:

    what a picture. so the cars went under that awning and beneath some tenements?

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