Trying to cross bustling Herald Square in 1902

Pedestrians, streetcars, horse-drawn wagons, elevated trains . . . getting from one side of Sixth Avenue to the other appears to be tricky at Herald Square just after the turn of the century.


I’m not sure if it’s exactly 1902. That’s the year Macy’s, in the upper left obscured by the Saks building in the center, moved from 14th Street to Herald Square.

And it’s probably not yet 1910, when automobiles began appearing more frequently, and mustaches like the one the man in the gray suit sports were on their way out of style.

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7 Responses to “Trying to cross bustling Herald Square in 1902”

  1. ReadingOtherPeople Says:

    Reblogged this on Reading Other People.

  2. Jon Phillips Says:

    The building in the foreground of this postcard, it should be noted is Saks and Company. Macy’s is largely obscured in this mis-captioned postcard, by Saks in the foreground. Macy’s famous bi-colored brick, and the indent due to the notorious ‘hold-out’ Pell building is in the background, and is also partially obscured by the 6th Ave. El. The original Saks was built in 1902 and this postcard is likely 1904.

  3. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Thank you for the correction–I’ll change the text. I should have known; here is another view of the old Saks building, which was uncovered under an ugly glass facade during construction last year:

    • Jon Phillips Says:

      Thanks for correcting this, and the reveal of the old Saks building. But, the caption still reverses the position of Macy’s – it is to the right (immediately to the North) of the Saks building in the center, not the left.

  4. Ken Says:

    I have this post card !

  5. Jon Phillips Says:

    Sorry not trying to be a pest. But, that would be, “in the upper right center where the Macy’s red brick building is distinguished from the all-limestone facade of Saks – Herald Square. Even Macy’s get’s confused, in a recent NY Times article on Macy’s re-design they sent the Times a picture featured of their store captioned, “Macy’s 1903” – but the photograph which includes the newer taller Siegel-Cooper holdout building clearly is later, and an examination of the original photo in Macy’s file confirms it was copyrighted 1907, when “Neptune’s Daughter” was playing at the Hippodrome – also built, and partially owned by the firm that built Macy’s for the rather parsimonious Strauss family. Happy to email you a copy of that if you like. Here is a link to the Times’ piece:

  6. The 1877 “palace of trade” opens on Ladies Mile | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] see the future—and it wasn’t on Ladies Mile. After Macy’s packed up and relocated to 34th Street in 1902, Altman followed […]

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