Posts Tagged ‘New York Union Square’

New York’s 1849 skyline seen from Union Square

February 2, 2015

The square itself looks different—it’s oval, first of all, and that’s some water spray from the new Croton fountain.


But amazingly, the streets are instantly recognizable in this 1849 bird’s eye lithograph by Swiss immigrant printmaker John Bachmann.

There’s Broadway, with that slight bend at Grace Church (built just one year earlier), and Fourth Avenue, which still curves east at about 12th Street.

Steeples and ship masts dominate Lower Manhattan. The George Washington statue has yet to arrive in at the southeast corner of Union Square (that comes in 1856), and the theaters and music halls that made 14th Street the city’s entertainment district are a decade or so away.

The level of detail is amazing and inspiring. And look at how built up New York is compared to this same view in 1828.

Fireworks at Union Square on July 4, 1876

July 4, 2013

Flags, crowds, and lots of pyrotechnics light up the night of America’s Centennial in Union Square.


The nation’s 100th birthday was honored with a parade that headed uptown on Broadway from Broome Street to 34th Street, at which point the procession went back downtown along Fifth Avenue to Union Square.

According to this New York Times article, 1,000 lanterns would be hung around trees in the park, gas jets would be turned on, and a 15-minute fireworks display would entertain crowds as music played.

[Image from the NYPL Digital Gallery]