New York City in the 1870s

1871: Frederick Douglass at Brooklyn Navy Yard

Frederick Douglass with The Commissioners to Santo Domingo, Brooklyn Navy Yard, January 1871

1870: Brooklyn Navy Yard

Silver photographic print of Brooklyn Navy Yard dry dock, which will be flooded as soon as the ship is completed and seaworthy.

1877: Demolition of Buildings for East River Bridge

An inevitable consequence of the construction of the East River Bridge was that numerous buildings would need to be demolished to clear the way for the approach on the Manhattan side.

1879: The Great East River Bridge

A color lithograph of what we know today as the Brooklyn Bridge, which was constructed over the course of this decade.

1873: Downtown Manhattan from Above

A bird’s-eye view of New York with Battery Park in the foreground and the Brooklyn Bridge on the right.

1876: The Centennial Fourth at Union Square

A drawing which shows a night of celebration in Union Square on July 4th, 1876, exactly 100 years since the nation’s founding.

1873: The Great Financial Panic

Illustration depicting the sub-treasury overrun by the public on Friday Sept. 19th at the Intersection of Nassau and Broad Streets with Wall Street.

1875: The Tribune Building

The Tribune Building, on the site of two previous Tribune buildings, was announced in 1873 and completed in 1875 to designs by Richard Morris Hunt.

1874: The Staats-Zeitung Building

The Staats-Zeitung Building was the headquarters of a German newspaper located in what many referred to as Printing House Square due to the number of publishers.

1870: B.T. Babbit Factory

Drawing from elevated perspective shows a soap factory in lower Manhattan, from West St. looking northeast, with wharf in foreground and Equitable Building in the background.

1872: Homeless New Yorkers

Life sketches in the metropolis depicting the city’s homeless poor during the early morning hours in Donovan Lane, near the Five Points.

1872: Water Street Lodging for the Homeless

A portrait drawn from life by Matt Morgan depicting his midnight visit to one of the cheap lodging houses in Water Street.

1870: Washington Market Butchers

A group of butchers pose together in front of their shop in what is known today as Tribeca.

1874: Manhattan and Governor's Island

Elevated perspective of New York showing the waterfront, Brooklyn Bridge, with Battery Park and Governors Island in the foreground

New York City's Prehistoric Roots

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.

Curated by Fine Print NYC

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