Posts Tagged ‘Union Square postcard’

How little Union Square has changed since 1910

April 18, 2013

What I love most about this vintage postcard is that so many of the buildings on the 17th Street side of Union Square going up Broadway still exist.


The Tammany Hall building on Park Avenue South and 17th Street hasn’t gone up yet. Nor has the W Hotel building across the street.

But there’s the brand-new Everett Building on the opposite corner, and the 1881 Queen Anne-style Century Building next door, the current home of Barnes & Noble.¬†On the corner is 860 Broadway. It’s now a Petco, but once housed the last incarnation of Andy Warhol’s Factory as well as a basement club.

Union Square changed a lot in its first century of existence, as this post reveals.

A lovely view of Union Square, 1905

March 28, 2011

On any given day, this corner of Union Square is packed with pedestrians and choked with buses and taxis.

But this 1905 postcard depicts a quiet, sparsely populated square. Maybe it’s early in the morning, and the social justice protests that often took place here aren’t scheduled to start until later.

And the dance halls and cheap theaters lining Broadway did brisk business the night before.

Mysteriously, it looks like Union Square East is cordoned off from Broadway by rope. And what about that bronze George Washington equestrian statue in the middle of the street?

The oldest sculpture in any city park, it was unveiled in 1856, then moved inside the park in 1930 to protect it from traffic.

Here’s an equally lovely view of Union Square from the same decade.