The square itself looks different—it’s oval, first of all, and that’s some water spray from the new Croton fountain.
But amazingly, the streets are instantly recognizable in this 1849 bird’s eye lithograph by Swiss immigrant printmaker John Bachmann.
There’s Broadway, with that slight bend at Grace Church (built just one year earlier), and Fourth Avenue, which still curves east at about 12th Street.
Steeples and ship masts dominate Lower Manhattan. The George Washington statue has yet to arrive in at the southeast corner of Union Square (that comes in 1856), and the theaters and music halls that made 14th Street the city’s entertainment district are a decade or so away.
The level of detail is amazing and inspiring. And look at how built up New York is compared to this same view in 1828.
Tags: 14th Street Theater District, Bird's Eye View of NYC, Croton Fountain Union Square Park, Grace Church Union Square, John Bachmann NYC printmaker, New York in 1840s, New York Union Square, old images of Union Square NYC