Posts Tagged ‘the Garden’

Madison Square Garden on the move

October 14, 2009

Ever wonder why it’s called Madison Square Garden—when it’s not near Madison Square? 

The current Garden, on 33rd Street, is the fourth incarnation of New York’s premier sports and entertainment arena.

MSGfirstThe first, at right, opened in 1879. Occupying an old railroad depot at Madison Avenue and 26th Street, it became a successful, 10,000-seat venue that featured boxing, bike racing, and ice hockey.

A decade later it was torn down. Famed architect Stanford White designed the second MSG in 1890, below left. This beautiful, 8,000-seat Moorish structure sported cupolas, arches, and a 32-story tower that made it the second tallest building in the city. 

MSG2

 Madison Square Garden II’s rooftop restaurant became a chic place for New York’s Gilded Age elite to socialize. It’s also where White was murdered in 1906.

He was shot point-blank by Harry Thaw, the jealous husband of a teenage showgirl the 40-ish White had been having an affair with.

By 1925, White’s palace met the wrecking ball, and the third MSG was completed at 50th Street and Eighth Avenue. This arena was home to the Rangers, Knicks, and lots of boxing matches.

Outdated by the late sixties, it was replaced in 1968 by the fourth and current Garden, built on the hallowed grounds of the original Penn Station.