The streetcars and street characters of 14th Street in 1905

You can practically hear the clacking of the streetcar and the pitch from the vendor with a sack over his shoulder in this richly detailed view of West 14th Street looking toward Fifth Avenue from 1905.

A young man stands in front of the camera, looking defiant; a woman carries packages under her arms on this busy shopping street of middle-class department stores and emporiums. Another woman is in the street, perhaps trying to cross?

Fourteenth Street over a century ago had no garish store signs or street architecture, but its hustle and energy feels very similar to the vibe of the street today.

[Postcard: MCNY; x2011.34.328]

Tags: , , , ,

9 Responses to “The streetcars and street characters of 14th Street in 1905”

  1. mikvan52 Says:

    fun to see this… all of this was once the Spingler farm. I notice the remains of the enclave of houses built by the descendants at rear left (21 W. 14th etc.)

  2. andrewalpern Says:

    Fourteenth Street was a vibrant hub of commercial life before the War.

  3. Michael Z Says:

    Wow! Looks a lot more cleaner and safer than the view I have at East 14th Street & 1st Avenue looking towards Fifth Ave.

  4. velovixen Says:

    Your description that begins with “A young man” sounds like a passage from a novel–or something out of Walt Whitman. I think he would have appreciated the energy of the street, signs or no signs.

    • ephemeralnewyork Says:

      I think he did appreciate it; his journals of his days spent loafing, as he called it, are filled with wonderful observations.

  5. Tom B Says:

    Is 14th Street the beginning of the “grid”?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: