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History101.NYC is an ad-free learning resource available to the public at no charge. The project is dedicated to exploring New York’s fascinating past. We restore vintage photographs and prints that document the City's history and heritage. We also research the natural forces that shaped the environment, along with the people who formed the landscape and culture.

History of NYC - 1920 to 1925

Like many other cities in the aftermath of a global war and pandemic, New York was ready to kick off a decade with a spirit of celebration. Society would break much new ground, including a boon in home ownership, and the expansion of civil rights. In the US, the sale of alcohol became prohibited, but this did little to stop the speakeasies which would define nightlife. Many great traditions and institutions were established during this time, including Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and New York Port Authority, The Cotton Club and New Yorker Magazine.

1923: Times Square Looking North

A night time photograph of Broadway and Times Square looking North from 45th Street.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission. Getty

1924: Granite Block Repair in New York City

Photograph of construction workers repairing granite stonework for the pavement on a New York City street.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission. The National Archives

1921: Columbus Circle and 59th Street

A photograph of cars and pedestrians making their way around Columbus Circle looking north.

Artist Credit: Irving Underhill. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1920: View of Downtown Manhattan from the Woolworth Building

An aerial view looking towards the southern tip of Downtown Manhattan from the Woolworth Building, which was the tallest building in the world from 1913 to 1930.

Artist Credit: Irving Underhill. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1922: Columbia University from Above

An illustration depicting a bird's eye view of Columbia University, Baker Field and surrounding campus grounds.

Artist Credit: Richard Rummell. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1921: Manhattan Skyline from Jersey City

Photograph of downtown Manhattan's iconic skyline from the shores of Jersey City.

Artist Credit: Irving Underhill. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1920: Barclay and Vesey Streets

A photograph showing the New York Telephone Company Building, Barclay and Vesey Streets.

Artist Credit: Detroit Publishing Company. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1920: New York City Public Library

Photograph of The New York City Public Library, looking north on 5th Avenue from 42nd Street.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1920: Snow Storm on Hudson Street

Photograph of Hudson Street, covered with snow and crowded with automobiles, trucks, wagons, and horses.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1924: Shoe Shiner in Union Square

Photograph of 11 year old Tony, who shines shoes in Union Square making anywhere from $2 to $4 per day.

Artist Credit: Lewis Wickes Hine. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1921: The Cunard Building

Photograph of The Cunard Building, also known as the Standard & Poors Building - a 22-story office building located at 25 Broadway next to Bowling Green Park.

Artist Credit: Irving Underhill. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1922: Gardening at Bryant Park

Photograph of three men participating in a gardening experiment at Bryant Park.

Artist Credit: Frances Benjamin Johnston. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1922: Fifth Avenue & 40th Street

Photograph of a crowded street scene in front of The New York City Public Library at 5th Avenue & 40th Street.

Artist Credit: Irving Underhill. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1923: Yankee Stadium

Photograph of Yankee Stadium with a lone figure walking towards the camera.

Artist Credit: George Grantham Bain. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1923: Yankee Stadium Main Entrance

Photograph taken outside of Yankee Stadium's main entrance.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission. Wikimedia Commons

Next Chapter: History of NYC - 1925 to 1930

From 1925 onward, the City would experience a massive cultural renaissance. New venues were opening all over the city to accommodate the growing demand for arts and entertainmen... Continue Reading

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