The area known as “Upper Broadway” in 1911

Is this really Upper Broadway? It is if Times Square is your idea of upper—as it must have been to New Yorkers in 1905, about the time this postcard dates to.


Times Square at night is alive and electric: There’s the Times Building, behind it the Hotel Astor, and in the front part of the Metropolitan Opera House.

This photo from 1912 gives a clearer view of the same scene. Here’s a postcard that looks at the Times Building facing downtown in 1911.

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11 Responses to “The area known as “Upper Broadway” in 1911”

  1. ronfrankl Says:

    Great post. Of course, until about 1900, Broadway terminated at what is now Columbus Circle; the portion of Broadway north of there was called Bloomingdale Road. Columbus Circle was completed in 1905.

    • Manhattan Past (@ManhattanPast) Says:

      You’re partly correct. Modern Broadway follows much of the path of the old Bloomingdale Road, but that name was no longer in use by this time. Above 59th Street, a street simply called The Boulevard was laid out in 1867, also mostly along the path of the old Bloomingdale Road. After Broadway was extended to meet the Boulevard, it was also sometimes called the Broadway Boulevard and was commonly called just Broadway by the 1890s. It was officially named part of Broadway in 1899, at which time several streets were combined to form most of modern Broadway.

      So in 1905, the name Broadway did extend from Bowling Green to Inwood. Of course what we now think of as upper Broadway was still largely undeveloped at this point.

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Thanks Ron. When I hear Upper Broadway, I think Harlem, Washington Heights, Inwood!

  3. ronfrankl Says:

    Me, too! And please keep them coming; I love your blog so much. Thanks for taking the time to do this, and do it so well.

  4. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Thank you for reading! It is pure pleasure for me.

  5. Dennis Haber Says:

    Interesting . . . The vertical sign on the right says, “HOSTERS”. I did a Google search and can find nothing. No reference at all. What was it, and why is there no record of whatever it was.

  6. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Yes, I did many searches for that name too. I’m thinking the postcard company changed it to Hosters to obscure the venue’s real name, so it didn’t look like an ad.

  7. ronfrankl Says:

    There was a Hoster’s Brewing Company at the turn of the century in Ohio, and a lot of breweries of the period operated their own saloons to sell their product, but I can’t find any evidence they did business in New York.

  8. Times Square, NY – 1911 | wretchedshekels Says:

    […] The area known as “Upper Broadway” in 1911 ( […]

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