“Quarter of Nine” on a busy New York street

Here’s another lovely Martin Lewis etching, this one entitled “Quarter of Nine, Saturday’s Children,” from the pivotal year of 1929.

I tried to research what block this is but came up empty. That looks like an armory on the right—could it be the demolished armory that once stood at Park Avenue and 34th Street?

Check out another Martin Lewis street scene with a now-solved mystery location in Queens.

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26 Responses to ““Quarter of Nine” on a busy New York street”

  1. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    The front tower looks like one on 34th Street but the one’s nearby don’t look like it, I doubt if this was the inspiration but perhaps it was artistic license?
    I remember the night I saw the armory torn down, wandered through the site kicking at old rocks and other debris till a guard told me to beat. I was sad.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    I’m thinking artistic license. I’ve been looking through old armory photos, and it seems that only some in Brooklyn have rounded turrets like that.

  3. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    Maybe…did you see this one?


  4. wildnewyork Says:

    That looks like it fits! I didn’t see that it was a square turret going up behind the round one.

  5. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    So you found it, that’s great! Mystery solved 😉

  6. Jay Says:

    The 7th picture down here shows an angle similar to the one of the etching:

  7. wildnewyork Says:

    Beautiful images, thanks Jay. Imagine if that armory still existed!

    • mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

      Years ago I had wandered in with my father into the armory and got caught up in a rejuvenation revivalist packed house meeting with the happy assembly singing, “Faith, Hope And Charity, that’s the way to live happily. How do I know? The Bible tells me so.” I’ll never will forget it, that’s what I was thinking when the security guard chased me off the wrecked site.

  8. Chung W Says:

    Looks like 1892 model lamp post limited to 5th avenue: http://www.nyc.gov/html/lpc/downloads/pdf/reports/lampposts.pdf

  9. Chung W Says:

    The Vanderbilt Hotel was built in 1913 and should be visible to left of 71st Regiment armory in 1929 but is not seen in the drawing. http://nyc-architecture.com/MID/MID026.htm

  10. Chung W Says:

    I made a mistake with the orientation…this drawing is actually viewing 34th street looking west – which had double lamp posts and street cars whereas park avenue had bishop’s crooks (single lamp posts). The far right possibly could be the Vanderbilt Hotel in partial view.

  11. Green daisy Says:

    What’s on the Armory site now?

    A photographer named John Fielder found a trove of old Coloado photos, then found the spots where the photos were taken, and took contemporary photos. The before-and-afters are amazing. Does anyone know a photographer that has done this for NY?

    • petey Says:

      dover books has a few volumes along these lines iirc. also, the daily news used to run a series called ‘new york’s changing scene,’ which paired old and new pictures, a series long discontinued, but it was fascinating.

    • Joe R Says:

      About ten years back the Museum of the City of New York had an exhibit of Berenice Abbott’s famous New York photos from the 1930s. They also had a little ancillary show by a contemporary photographer who went back to many of the sites Abbott photographed to show what the areas looks like now.

  12. mk Says:

    Here’s a picture of the spectacular 72st Regiment Aemory- What a building! So I’d say that’s the subject of the print


    • wildnewyork Says:

      Yes, so beautiful. It’s inspired a future Ephemeral post on demolished Armories. There was another on 14th Street.

  13. mk Says:

    Ugh, I meant 71st Regiment Armory

  14. fifilaru Says:

    I find it interesting how short the skirts are! 1929 skirts were their shortest until the 1960s.

  15. LilyPondLane Says:

    I copied some notes from the book, THE PRINTS OF MARTIN LEWIS, A CATALOGUE RAISONNE’, by Paul McCarron. This is what it said, “QUARTER OF NINE, SATURDAY’S CHILDREN, 1929 (The scene depicts women on their way to work in stores, early on Saturday morning on Thirty-fourth St. at Park Avenue—identified by the Seventy-first Regiment Armory, now demolished, at right. This was near Lewis’s studio at 145 E.Thirty-fourth Street. The same location, from different vantage points, was used for several other prints, including RAIN ON MURRAY HILL.)
    So, we now know that Lewis used this location for more than one work.
    I also believe that the view in the print is looking east on 34th St.

  16. A rainy day in Murray Hill in 1928 « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] the same armory depicted in Quarter of Nine, Saturday’s Children, a Martin Lewis etching from […]

  17. Sleet and snowy stoops on a West Side street « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Lewis’ etchings are so rich and evocative. He tends to keep the locations vague though, as he did with this piece depicting a busy workday morning somewhere in the city. […]

  18. Peter Says:

    I think that’s the reservoir, not an armory.

  19. A printmaker’s New York in shadows and light | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] These are finely detailed illustrations—mostly nocturnes—of solitary figures or crowds. People are coming and going along sidewalks and subway staircases, on their way home from a night out or heading to work in the morning. […]

  20. andersson1899rian G. Andersson Says:

    That is exactly what it is. The 71st regiment armory

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