Curated by Fine Print New York • 315 Madison Avenue • • 212.619.5446

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.

1873: Central Park and Midtown Manhattan

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

1874: Central Park, New York

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

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.

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.

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.

1876: Washington Equestrian Statue on Decoration Day

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

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.

1870: Madison Square Park

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

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.

1870: Elevated Railroad Station

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

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.

1870: Immigrants Just Arrived at Ellis Island

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

1875: Market Under The East River Bridge

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

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.

View All19Images

Subscribe to History101.NYC and get updates on new photos and exclusive promotional discounts


315 Madison Avenue • NYC 10017 • (212)619-5446 •

History 101 NewsFor License, Media & Press Inquiries Please Contact Us

History101.NYC is an ad-free learning resource available to the public at no charge.
This project is dedicated to exploring New York’s fascinating heritage through the restoration of vintage photographs and prints.