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History of NYC - 1880s

The 1880’s NYC would see increased commerce and growth in outer boroughs with the completion of both the Brooklyn and George Washington Bridges. Other iconic moments during this decade include the dedication of the Statue of Liberty, the opening of Katz’s Delicatessen and the building of Hotel Chelsea and The Dakota. The Great Blizzard of 1888, also known as the “White Hurricane”, paralyzes the Eastern seaboard, causing temperatures in New York City to fall as much as 60 degrees.

1882: Statue of Liberty Construction

Photograph of workmen constructing the Statue of Liberty in Bartholdi's Parisian warehouse workshop before it was shipped to New York.

Artist Credit: Albert Fernique. Reprinted with permission.

1883: Brooklyn Bridge Trolley

Photograph of a the trolley tracks on the Brooklyn Bridge. A city worker is seen cleaning the platform on the left while commuters are seen walking on the right.

Artist Credit: Robert N. Dennis. Reprinted with permission.

1883: Brooklyn Bridge Trolley Station

Photograph of the trolley station at Brooklyn bridge with wagon traffic on the right and pedestrians on the left.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1880: New York Elevated Railway

A view looking down elevated railroad tracks. A train is approaching around the curve.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1880: Jefferson Market

View north along Sixth Avenue shows the Third Judicial District Courthouse, 425 Avenue of the Americas, currently known as Jefferson Market.

Artist Credit: Giorgio Cavalieri. Reprinted with permission.

1885: The Vanderbilt Mansion

Photograph of 660 Fifth Avenue - the mansion of William K. and Alva Vanderbilt.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1886: Statue of Liberty Completed

Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi's "Statue of Liberty" is erected on Bedloe's Island, in New York Harbor, becoming a symbol of American freedom and opportunity.

Artist Credit: Charles Magnus. Reprinted with permission.

1885: Construction of Cooper Union

Magazine Illustration depicting the completion of Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science & Art

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1888: Blizzard of 1888 - Fulton Street

Photograph shows a view of Fulton Street toward the ferry after snow plows have cleared a path through the blizzard.

Artist Credit: C. H. Jordan. Reprinted with permission.

1888: Blizzard of 1888 - Piles of Snow

Photograph shows piles of snow taller than a group of men posing in front of a storefront during the Blizzard of 1888.

Artist Credit: Clifford Jordan. Reprinted with permission.

1888: The Brooklyn Bridge Promenade

Photograph of pedestrians walking the Promenade of the Brooklyn Bridge, New York City.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1883: Entrance to Brooklyn Bridge Promenade

An early photograph of the recently opened Brooklyn Bridge promenade - a much needed connection between Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1885: Under The Brooklyn Bridge

Photograph of East River boats passing underneath the Brooklyn Bridge overpass.

Artist Credit: Benjamin West Kilburn. Reprinted with permission.

1887: New York City Harbor

A painting of ships sailing the New York Harbor against a backdrop of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge in the distance.

Artist Credit: Andrew Melrose. Reprinted with permission.

1882: Manhattan Skyline from Jersey City

An illustration of downtown Manhattan from Jersey City, long before the era of skyscrapers.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

Next Chapter: History of NYC - 1890s

The 1890s were a pivotal point in NYC history. Washington Square Arch, Carnegie Hall are built and the New York Public Library established while the U.S. Immigrant Inspection St... Continue Reading

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History of NYC - 10,000+ Years Ago

Learn all about NYC’s fascinating past by exploring the natural forces that shaped the environment and landscape, along with the people who would transform the “Island of Many Hills” into the greatest and most influential city in the world.


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