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History of NYC - 1905 to 1910

The City’s magnetic personality continues to attract a growing and culturally diverse population. Travelers, migrants and fugitives would be drawn to its shores from across the globe to take their shot at the American Dream. During this time the transit system would grow exponentially. Two of the city’s largest hubs, Grand Central Terminal and Pennsylvania Station, were already beginning to take shape – their construction representing the ambition of the city itself and connecting the colorful tapestry of people who would define the life and vibe in New York for generations to come.

1905: Photographing NYC from 18 Stories

A photographer shooting the skyline 18 stories above pavement of Fifth Avenue, as he sits on a thin support beam of a skyscraper under construction.

Artist Credit: Underwood & Underwood. Reprinted with permission.

1908: The Heart of Downtown New York City

A panoramic photograph of Manhattan's downtown skyline, including City Hall and the Singer Building.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1908: Excavations for Grand Central Station

Construction workers clear several stories of earth and rock to lay the groundwork for what would become one of the city's most busy transit network.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1905: Construction of Grand Central Terminal

Construction on Grand Central Terminal started on June 19, 1903, as New York state legislature would ban all steam trains in Manhattan by 1908.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1908: The First Tracks of Grand Central Station

A straight perspective following the direction of the newly laid train tracks which would help to service thousands, and eventually millions of commuters a day.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1908: Crowd in Front of Grand Central Terminal

A crowd of pedestrians pass the entrance of Grand Central Terminal with horse carriages and trolleys visible on the street.

Artist Credit: George Grantham Bain. Reprinted with permission.

1905: Construction Workers on the 27th Floor of the New Times Building

Workmen risking their lives 27 stories above ground at the construction site of the new "Times" Building, New York City.

Artist Credit: Underwood & Underwood. Reprinted with permission.

1908: Times Square, New York

A daytime photograph of Times Square and the New Times Building, with pedestrians and trolleys in the foreground.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1905: Main Concourse at Pennsylvania Station

A photograph which illustrates the great style, symmetry and lighting of Penn Station's Main Concourse.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1905: Main Waiting Room at Pennsylvania Station

Interior view of Penn Station's famously opulent waiting room, with its high vaulted ceilings and turn-of-the-century stonework.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1905: Track Level and Concourses at Pennsylvania Station

Interior view of Penn Station's concourses, drenched by the sun due to the greenhouse-inspired design of its glass ceiling.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1906: Williamsburg Bridge Plaza, Brooklyn New York

Aerial view of the Plaza at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn, New York.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1905: Elevated (L) Station at Chatham Square

Chatham Square was an express station on the demolished IRT Third Avenue Line. Its lower level served trains of the IRT Second and Third Avenue Lines.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1905: Manhattan Entrance to Brooklyn Bridge

Manhattan commuters flock near the entrance to the pedestrian walkway and elevated train station of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1906: Emigrants in the Pens at Ellis Island

Crowds will the rows, or "pens" at Ellis Island, probably on or near Christmas as evidenced by the decorations.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1907: Arriving at Ellis Island

Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island for processing in 1907.

Artist Credit: George Grantham Bain. Reprinted with permission.

1909: Pedestrians in Chinatown

A Chinese-American man walking with son on the street in NYC's Chinatown district.

Artist Credit: George Grantham Bain. Reprinted with permission.

1909: Praying On the Williamsburg Bridge

A group of Jewish citizens recite prayers on the pedestrian path of the Williamsburg Bridge for the Jewish New Year.

Artist Credit: George Grantham Bain. Reprinted with permission.

1905: Concert in Central Park

Spectators enjoy a musical performance at one of Central Park's pavilions.

Artist Credit: George Grantham Bain. Reprinted with permission.

1905: Central Park - Lake and Terrace

A small crowd gathers near Bethesda Fountain to enjoy pleasant weather and boat rides on the lake.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1905: The Belmont Coach on Fifth Avenue

The street is packed with the traffic of horses and carriages at the intersection of 5th Avenue and 59th Street.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1908: Meeting of the Unemployed at Union Square

Unemployed men and boys meet in Union Square, which as the name implies was a common meeting point for both celebrations and protests.

Artist Credit: George Grantham Bain. Reprinted with permission.

1905: Riverside Drive, New York City

Horse and carriage making its way along Riverside Drive, an avenue which was opened in 1880 and was well-used by walkers, bikers, and drivers.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1906: Broad Street Lunch Carts

Street vendors selling hotdogs and lemonade on Broad Street in Manhattan.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1905: Children Playing Near a Dead Horse

Poor sanitary conditions have become commonplace, as evidenced by this photo of children play in the street gutter within a few feet of a dead horse.

Artist Credit: Joseph Byron. Reprinted with permission.

1908: Catching Goldfish in Union Square

Children trying to catch goldfish in the remaining puddles of Union Square's Fountain.

Artist Credit: George Grantham Bain. Reprinted with permission.

1909: Downtown Broadway

Photograph of a busy downtown street, Looking up Broadway from Custom House.

Artist Credit: Stereo Travel Company. Reprinted with permission.

1906: Elevated Railroad at 8th Avenue

Horses and carriages move along the underpass of the elevated train tracks following 8th Avenue.

Artist Credit: Standard Scenic Company. Reprinted with permission.

1908: Italian Street Vendors

A few of many street vendors selling their goods at the Italian Feast of San Gennaro, which is still celebrated in a similar manner today.

Artist Credit: George Grantham Bain. Reprinted with permission.

1905: Blizzard on 23rd Street

Rows of carriages on 23rd Street are blockaded from the January 24th storm which covered the city in 11" of snow.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1908: Wagons Removing Snow

Photograph shows a line of horse-drawn wagons hauling snow after a blizzard in New York City.

Artist Credit: George Grantham Bain. Reprinted with permission.

1909: New York City Police Department

A group of New York City police officers pose together in front of a precinct.

Artist Credit: W.O. Lewin. Reprinted with permission.

1909: Chinatown Decorated for New Year

Photograph of Mott Street decorated for New Year, Jan. 21, 1909 - looking toward Port Arthur restaurant.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1907: Macy's Building and Herald Square

Shoppers and commuters fill Herald Square in front of Macy's famous department store.

Artist Credit: Irving Underhill. Reprinted with permission.

1907: Union Square Fountain

A close-up view of the Union Square Fountain with the Metropolitan Building in the background.

Artist Credit: Standard Scenic Company. Reprinted with permission.

1909: Hotels from the Lake in Central Park

A photograph shot from the perspective of the lake at Central Park towards the luxury hotels which form the skyline.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1909: Dutch Dancers at The Waldorf

A group of young dancers in traditional Dutch attire dance at the rooftop terrace of The Waldorf Astoria.

Artist Credit: George Grantham Bain. Reprinted with permission.

1909: Half Moon on The Hudson

Henry Hudsons' vessel, the "Half Moon" is reconstructed and sailed in the river as part of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration in 1909.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1908: The Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges

An iconic view of the both East River bridges with downtown Manhattan in the background and plenty of traffic in the East River.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1908: Aerial View of Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn

Spectacular view, looking east from the Singer Tower - all three East River Bridges are visible from this perspective.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1907: Election Night in Times Square

Voters congregate near the Times Building at the "Great White Way" (Broadway from 42nd to 34th Sts.)

Artist Credit: H.C. White Co. Reprinted with permission.

Next Chapter: History of NYC - 1910 to 1915

At the dawn of another decade, New York's expansion and cultural influence show no signs of slowing. The New York Public Library's main branch was completed and just a few block... 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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