Posts Tagged ‘Impressions of New York Marilyn Symmes’

The Russian baths on posh “La Fayette Place”

September 22, 2011

“Dr. Edward Guttmann (1828-1896), a German immigrant who arrived in New York in 1854 to practice medicine, founded the Russian Baths on Lafayette Place in the mid-1850s,” states the caption to this 1870s lithograph by John Lawrence Giles.

It’s in a wonderful book of prints called Impressions of New York, by Marilyn Symmes.

“The print, made to publicize the establishment (after Guttmann had sold the business), shows of the facility’s interior amenities to prospective gentleman customers.”

These baths, on what was then called La Fayette Place, a posh residential neighborhood in the 1830s and 1840s, “were most popular with well-off Russian-Jewish immigrants, as it both reminded them of their homeland and reinforced a sense of community in their new country.”

Sleighs and snowball fights on Ann Street

December 27, 2010

With lots of snow, a six-horse sleigh, and a brass band in the mix, downtown Manhattan appears lively and festive in Thomas Benecke’s lithograph “Sleighing in New York” from 1855.

“This boisterous scene of a sleigh collision and snowball fight may have been a staged spectacle, given that it occurred in front of P.T. Barnum’s museum at the corner of Broadway and Ann Street,” states the caption of Impressions of New York, by Marilyn Symmes.

Inside Barnum’s Museum at about this time, it was a very different scene—one featuring these and other “living curiosities.”