Posts Tagged ‘Columbus in New York City’

All the ways to get to Columbus Circle in 1910

October 23, 2017

The makers of this postcard may not have realized it at the time. But they selected an image that gives contemporary viewers a glimpse at all the different transportation options available to New Yorkers in 1910.

Trolley cars would continue at least through the 1930s. Horse-drawn wagons had another decade before they were banished to quiet side streets or out of the way neighborhoods. The automobile would soon dominate city streets.

Pedestrians walk on what looks like a new sidewalk. And on the left, one of the original subway kiosks hint at the mass transit option of choice for city residents through the 20th century.

[Postcard: MCNY]

The long-hidden ships at the 59th Street station

January 10, 2011

For years, they were hidden behind scaffolding and plastic tarps along the uptown 1 platform at the Columbus Circle subway station.

But now that construction is finishing up, the original terra cotta plaques depicting one of Christopher Columbus’ ships are back in full, unobstructed view—hopefully for good.

They’re lovely to look at while waiting for the 1 train to limp into the station: The ship is the Santa Maria, billowing on the ocean with seagulls flying beside her sails.

Though the plaques were there when the station opened in October 1904, they’re actually replacements for a 1901 mosaic that’s recently been unearthed. That one didn’t cut it with August Belmont, who financed the IRT. So subway designers buried it behind a wall and came up with something that pleased him.