Posts Tagged ‘Walker Evans postcards’

Future New York: “The City of Skyscrapers”

April 27, 2011

Some predictions about what life in a future New York will be like actually come to pass—while others never make it out of the fantasy stage.

In the fantasy category are the Hudson River bridges proposed in the 1880s and then the 1950s for 23rd Street and 125th Street.

The moving sidewalks dreamed up in 1871 and then again in 1910 also never came to fruition.

But this Walker Evans postcard, from the 1910s, accurately predicted that New York would be a city of skyscrapers.

The trams traveling along interconnected tracks through buildings and the airplanes crowding low in the skies just didn’t pan out, at least not yet.

A smooth ride through the Holland Tunnel

March 30, 2009

If only vehicles went through the tunnel with this kind of ease and order all the time. Before the Holland Tunnel opened in November 1927, the only way to cross the Hudson River was by one of 15 different ferry lines.


The tunnel was named after its chief engineer, Clifford Milburn Holland, who died before it was finished. The heart attack that killed him was attributed in part to the stress of working on the tunnel.

This 1920s postcard is part of the Walker Evans collection on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s a great exhibit with lots of New York postcards capturing the pre-war city—definitely worth a visit.