The magic of old Cooper Square by moonlight

Here is a moonlit Cooper Square under a starry sky looking north around 1905.

It’s not a square but a triangular park, a juncture of elevated train routes and avenues, a place where old neighborhood boundaries shifted (like the early 19th century Bowery Village) and new ones (Noho, anyone?) popped up.


It’s a carnival of history. On the right are modest Federal-style homes with dormer windows, built in the 1820s. Cooper Union’s 1858 Great Hall hosted presidential hopefuls going back to Abraham Lincoln.

A sketchier, pre-boutique hotel Cooper Square in late 1980s was also the site of a peddlers’ market of sorts, where the desperate put out anything they could find (or steal) for sale in an empty parking lot.

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9 Responses to “The magic of old Cooper Square by moonlight”

  1. carolynquinn Says:

    Your blog is absolutely phenomenal. BRAVO!!!

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Thank you!

  3. sweetsound Says:

    Love this picture

  4. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Me too. If only Cooper Square still looked like that!

  5. notmsparker Says:

    Always a delight to read! Thanx for sharing those gems with others and greetings from Berlin!

  6. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Thank you for reading…from across the world!

  7. brianspaeth Says:

    Great picture! I lived on East 6th street just off Cooper Square for almost 30 years. The modern Square has been devastated by the numerous architectural atrocities and stunts that have overtaken it in the last several years. I can hardly recognize it anymore…but I carry a wealth of memories of an older city…

  8. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Thank you! I can’t figure out what’s been going on there with the little park behind Cooper Union, but it looks like it’s almost complete and the fencing and barriers will be down soon.

  9. The curious fireplace in McSorley’s back room | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] with the Astor Library (now The Public Theater) and the newly formed Cooper Institute, Bible House helped make Astor Place a hub of intellectual and literary […]

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