Cooper Square, flanked by the el and streetcars

No sleek boutique hotels stand out in this vintage postcard view of Cooper Square at the turn of the last century.

Instead, there’s an elevated train on the Third Avenue side, streetcars and horse-drawn carriages on Fourth Avenue, and a little pedestrian activity on the sidewalk.


The yellow building on the right, at 61 Cooper Square, is the former Metropolitan Savings Bank, built in 1867. It’s still there—still sporting some of the coolest Victorian windows and roof in the neighborhood.

Is that a horse fountain at the bottom right?

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4 Responses to “Cooper Square, flanked by the el and streetcars”

  1. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    And the old Hotel, in red, on St Marks Place & 3rd Ave still runs as a cheap (!) hotel that’s still standing, too. Used to be hookers used the place I don’t know who does now, perhaps high class NYU hookers 😉

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Ah yes, that hotel has been there forever. I’m surprised it hasn’t been co-opted and luxed up.

  3. nygrump Says:

    As a postcard collector, I own about 50 different cards from this period from Cooper Union. Probably 30 of these come from 2 different views, of which this is one. I’m fascinated by the little building at the top of the park, which I believe as an old bathroom, which is supposedly still there, only buried (?). It was fenced on 3 sides, but one side was always open, no gate. The Peter Cooper statue is also not fenced off at this time. Behind Cooper is Bible House.

  4. christopher Says:

    Does that seem to show that Astor Place was a plaza behind Cooper Union all those years ago? The neighborhood nixed that idea recently but there’s clearly historic precedent for it.

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