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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.

1898: 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.

1898: Brooklyn Bridge Trolley Station

Various Companies Operated Local Trolley Lines over the Brooklyn Bridge.

1880: New York Elevated Railway

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

1880: Jefferson Market

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

1880: New York City Hall

Aerial photograph of City Hall with its neighborhood buildings and surrounding park in downtown Manhattan.

1880: Croton Reservoir Looking South

Aerial photograph of Fifth Avenue looking south with Rutgers Female College on left and Croton Reservoir on right.

1885: The Vanderbilt Mansion

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

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.

1885: Construction of Cooper Union

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

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.

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.

1888: The Brooklyn Bridge Promenade

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

1883: Entrance to Brooklyn Bridge Promenade

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

1885: Under The Brooklyn Bridge

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


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