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History of NYC - 1870s

In 1870, Long Island City was formed in Queens. Four years later, New York City annexed the West Bronx, west of the Bronx River. This era would come to be known as “the Gilded Age” – a time of radical progress but also great instability as the city’s population continued to grow beyond its capacity. This era would also see the nation’s first Centennial Anniversary, which was the cause of much fanfare and festivities as America reached a new milestone.

1873: Sunrise Over New York Harbor

An aerial view of the southern tip of Manhattan during the early morning hours. Illustration includes the shores of Brooklyn and New Jersey.

Artist Credit: Ferd. Mayer & Sons. Reprinted with permission.

1873: Central Park and Midtown Manhattan

A bird's-eye view of New York with Central Park in the foreground.

Artist Credit: George Schlegel. Reprinted with permission.

1874: Central Park, New York

A painting which shows New Yorkers enjoying the foliage and scenery at Central Park.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1871: Lake Manahatta Reservoir

The Lake Manahatta Reservoir was built between 1858 and 1862 as a temporary water supply for the city, receiving water from the Croton Aqueduct.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1873: View Over Union Square

Views of Union Square, including the park, equestrian statue of George Washington, and the rustic buildings which once inhabited the neighborhood.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1876: Washington Equestrian Statue from Above on Decoration Day

An elevated perspective of the Washington Statue at Union Square, surrounded by crowds of people and decorated for Decoration Day.

Artist Credit: Peter F. Weil. Reprinted with permission.

1876: Washington Equestrian Statue on Decoration Day

Washington Statue at Union Square, decorated with foliage and flags for Decoration Day.

Artist Credit: Peter F. Weil. Reprinted with permission.

1871: St. Patrick's Day at Union Square

Print shows portion of a St. Patrick's Day parade at Union Square with a float in the center bearing a bust of Daniel O'Connell.

Artist Credit: Lucian Gray. Reprinted with permission.

1870: Madison Square Park

Photograph of a row of buildings and storefronts taken from the perspective of Madison Square Park.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1875: Grand Central Depot

The Grand Central Depot was built by Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1871 on the site we know today as Grand Central Terminal.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1870: Elevated Railroad Station

Photograph of an elevated railroad station constructed by the Manhattan Railway Company.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1870: Elevated Station on a Busy Street

A train is stopped at an elevated station on a street filled with pedestrians and horse drawn coaches.

Artist Credit: William H. Rau. Reprinted with permission.

1870: Immigrants Just Arrived at Ellis Island

A photograph of the waiting room at Ellis Island, where recently arrived immigrants await examination.

Artist Credit: Underwood & Underwood. Reprinted with permission.

1875: Market Under The East River Bridge

Photograph of a bustling street market below the overpass of the Brooklyn Bridge

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1876: Lincoln Monument at Union Square on Decoration Day

An elevated view of celebrations at Union Square Park on Decoration Day, or as we would currently know it, Memorial Day.

Artist Credit: Peter F. Weil. Reprinted with permission.

Next Chapter: 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... 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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