Magnificence and magic at 1920s Columbus Circle

Since last week’s Columbus Circle painting turned out to mislabeled (it was actually Madison Square), I thought I’d make up for the error with this Impressionist kaleidoscope of the Circle, as it was called, by Colin Campbell Cooper.

This must be around 1920. The trolleys circling the Columbus monument are joined by automobiles, and pedestrians seem to cross wherever they can—though it looks like a police officer is directing traffic. (Has Columbus Circle ever been pedestrian friendly?)

The streets look slicked with rain, giving them a soft, magical quality. But blue skies peek through the clouds, perhaps a nod to the magnificent early 20th century city.

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7 Responses to “Magnificence and magic at 1920s Columbus Circle”

  1. Mykola (Mick) Dementiuk Says:

    I traveled up to high school in the early 1960s on 59th & 10th from the Lower East Side always getting off at Columbus Circle and wandering the streets, high school quickly forgotten. Sometimes four or five of us went down the city streets, often I drifted alone to Times Square… Now matter who I was with the area around Columbus Circle was my introduction of the exuberance of life and mystery that is the beauty of New York! I no longer live there but thanks again for your blog in bringing the past back.

  2. Marilyn Says:

    I dont think Columbus Circle was ever pedestrian friendly. I do remember it in the 1960’s having visited the car show at the old Coliseum. And that terrific Judy Holiday movie…before the Coliseum was built where she goes around and around to view her billboard with her face on it. Peter Lawford is the advertising exec – boyfriend trying to get her to give the billboard to him and his company, for a $$$ deal.

  3. Beth Zola Says:

    Hi! Your original painting is clearly Columbus Circle.  You can compare the painting on google maps.   I clearly recognize the base of the statue, as well as the buildings up Central Park West. I love your site! ThanksBeth

  4. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Thanks Beth, but I’ve got to say, it really looks like Madison Square based on this photo:

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