Posts Tagged ‘Fifth Avenue street scenes’

Three centuries on Fifth Avenue and 14th Street

July 23, 2012

This 1899 photo of ladies decked out in their elaborate hats and bustles for a day of shopping are wonderful.

But I also love the street sign, lamps, mailbox, and fire hydrant (across 14th Street), published in New York Then and Now in 1976.

“The corner building was originally the William M. Halstead residence, built in the 1830s,” the caption to the photo tells us.

“One of the earliest mansions on the avenue, it was later altered and became, successively, the Old Guard Armory, Midget Hall and Brewster’s Hall; it eventually was occupied by the Gregg Furniture Co.”

The scene is very different in 1974. The tall buildings replaced smaller-scale mansions in the early 1900s, and a white-brick apartment residence occupies the northeast corner.

The lovely signage and lamps are gone . . . as is the shopping traffic.

Today, the streetscape looks the same as it did in 1974, with a few exceptions: more foot and vehicular traffic, thanks to lower Fifth Avenue’s resurgence as a retail district.

Also, there’s new traffic lights . . . and bank branches on both corners.