A peaceful scene of once-bloodied Wall Street

It’s hard to tell when this technicolor, car-free view of a strangely placid Wall Street looking toward Trinity Church dates to.

But judging by the suits and hats, it must have been post-1920. That’s the year a bomb left behind in a horse-drawn wagon ripped into this exact location in front of Federal Hall on the right, killing 38 people—mostly messengers, clerks, and other financial workers.

No one was ever brought to justice for the carnage.

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One Response to “A peaceful scene of once-bloodied Wall Street”

  1. T.J. Connick Says:

    Wasn’t able to locate the original photo from which this was made.

    The Broad St subway station opened in ’31. The sliver of 1 Wall St visible to the left of Trinity tells us ’32 or later.

    Costumes could be any time thereafter through late ’40s, I’d say. Bare-headed men might suggest later rather than earlier.

    General appearance looks a bit unreal. The tropical-sun angle of the shadows looks like a loopy touch by the art department, since the apparel doesn’t look like summer.

    Another thing: this Underhill photo company had an uncanny ability to flatten into lumpy blandness even the most thrilling buildings in the city. How did they do it?

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