CUNY Graduate Center Collection, 34th Street

This collection is a collaborative project between the Mina Rees Library, the Seymour B. Durst Old York Library, and the Gotham Center for New York City History, is a montage of 246 images of Thirty-fourth Street, past and present. Contemporary images were taken by photographer Jeanette O’Keefe during the summer of 2010. These color street shots contrast beautifully with the historic images of Thirty-fourth.

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Daly's Theatre, Broadway & 30th St.
Advertisement for the Daly Theatre production of the comedy "Samson and Dalilah."
Daly's Theatre.
1221 Broadway at 30th Street. West side of Broadway looking towards 30th Street. Flatiron Building visible far left of photo in distance.
Decker Brothers Pianos. - Where They Are Made.
Print of the Decker Bros. Piano Forte Manufactory headquarters, 35th Street and Eighth Avenue.
Discovery of three half-starved alms-house children in the room of a hired nurse, 152 East Thirty-Fourth Street.
152 East 34th Street. Interior view of three orphans being removed from the room of a hired nurse.
Drawing-Room in the State Apartments, New Hotel Waldorf.
Erected by William Waldorf Astor on the site of the former home of his father, Northwest Corner Fifth Avenue and Thirty-third Street, New York. Cost $4,000,000.
Eagle with bas relief shield, William Sloane House, Y.M.C.A.
360 West 34th Street (Southeast corner of 34th Street and Ninth Avenue). This is one of the two eagles that adorn the tops of the doorways of the old William Sloane House. The eagle's shield are the words, "Spirit, Mind, Body," those elements of people that Y.M.C.A. programs seek to build.
Elevated Railroad, 2nd Avenue and 34th Street.
Opened in 1880, the Second Avenue elevated ("El") train had a stop at 34th Street. There are people walking on the sidewalks and crossing between the train lines. Carts are parked along the curbs and under the elevated tracks.
Empire State Building (back)
The back of the postcard gives the history of the Empire State Building site:, "In 1799 a man named Thompson owned a farm at what is now Fifth Avenue and Thirty-fourth Street, New York City. He later sold it and in 1827 the Astor Mansions were erected there by William Astor. These made way in 1893 for the famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, a social and political center for many years. In 1929 the hotel was demolished and on the site was erected the tallest building in the world, Empire State, rising 102 stories above the street." There is also a personal note, "Elizabeth and I visited the Empire State observatory July 1, 1932."
Empire State Building lobby
350 Fifth Avenue between 33rd and 34th Streets. This is a photograph of the Empire State Building lobby, showing the information desk at the far end.
Empire State Building lobby.
350 Fifth Avenue between 33rd and 34th Streets. This is a photograph of the main lobby in the Empire State Building. It is through here that the observation deck is accessed by the curious. In 2009, a 12.5 million restoration of the murals on the ceiling was completed, so be sure to look up.
Empire State Building, 34th Street and Fifth Avenue.
Drawing taken from the book "The Symbol of American Achievement." Upon the site of the historic old Waldorf Astoria, stands the Empire State Building, the highest structure in the world. Its tower designed as a mooring mast for airships is often concealed from the eye by low hanging clouds.
Empire State Building, 5th Ave. & 34th St. N.Y.
View of Fifth Avenue looking north toward construction of the Empire State Building. Background depicts construction of the Chrysler building.
Empire State Building, New York City (back)
The back of the postcard has a description, "The Empire State Building, the tallest in the world: 1248 feet from sidewalk to tip of mooring mast. Equal to 102 stories: 85 stories of office space, 62 express elevators; houses twenty thousand people in more than two million feet of floor space." Postcard has also a personal message, addressed to Miss Elise Kilber in Waterford, Ohio, "Dear Elise, Have been out here for a few weeks. This is the tallest building in the world. Love to your mother and regards to the Bill." It is signed Anna Kelly.
Empire State Building, New York City.
350 Fifth Avenue, between 33rd and 34th Streets. This colorized photograph of the Empire State Building with the New York skyline below is surrounded with facts about the building. The back of the postcard has the following description, "Empire State Building, New York City. One of the tallest buildings in the world symbolizes man's progress in architectural skill. The building was erected in 1931 and is 1472 feet high."
Empire State Building, New York City.
350 Fifth Avenue, between 33rd and 34th Streets. Color postcard with an idealized drawing of the Empire State Building. The image erroneously shows the mooring mast shaped like a pylon and functioning like a lighthouse, with beams streaking out of it on two sides and into the night. A dirigible approaches the mast, perhaps to dock with the building. The mooring mast was originally designed to dock dirigibles, but the wind currents surrounding the Empire State Building made it impossible.
Empire State Building.
350 Fifth Avenue between 33rd and 34th Streets. This color postcard is an idealized drawing of the Empire State Building. At the base of the building are houses and tenements. Next to the building is a list of structures with the dates of when these buildings stood on the site before the Empire State Building was built in 1931. Designed by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, the Empire State Building is 1,250 feet high and was once the tallest building in the world.
Exterior view of Pennsylvania Station.
West 34th Street and Seventh Avenue. An aerial view toward the north-east corner of the original Pennsylvania Station that features automobiles, street cars, double-decker buses and pedestrians on the street. This Beaux-Arts style landmark building designed by McKim, Mead & White occupied this site from 1910 to 1963 when it was demolished. Madison Square Garden has occupied this space since 1968.
Exterior view of the Herald Square Theatre along with adjoining businesses and buildings as well as billboard advertisements, signs and pedestrians.
1329 to 1349 Broadway, between Thirty-fifth and Thirty-sixth Streets. Lew Field's Theatre - United Cigar Store - The Gerald and Ethier Cafe - The Emerson Shoe - The Broadway Music Store - The Elite Diamond and Antique Shop - Mendelowitz Candy - Gophir Diamond Co. - Henry A. Richie & Co., Tailors - W.L. Douglas Shoe Co., cor. of Thirty-sixth Street.
Farley Post Office, 8th Avenue between 31st and 32nd Streets, Eighth Avenue façade from 33rd Street.
Exterior view of Farley Post Office with automobiles and pedestrians.
Fifth Ave & 34th Altman Bldg, June 21, 1944.
A print of midtown Manhattan featuring stylish shoppers. The Reed & Barton Building, Empire State Building and Astor Building are visible. The back of the print contains two news clippings which read: "The Colors Go Up Along New York's 'Avenue of the Allies'" and "Philippine flags are added to the display on Fifth Avenue from Twenty-second to Sixty-first Streets by Jack Daly".
Fifth Avenue & 34th St, looking north.
Corner of Empire State Building visible, lower left of photo. Automobile and pedestrian traffic on Fifth Avenue.
Fifth Avenue & vicinity.
Fifth Avenue looking north from 33rd Street, with pedestrians, automobiles and street food vendor. Depicts southeast corner of Empire State Building.
Fifth Avenue and 34th St. looking south, 1893.
Astor Residence, Waldorf Hotel, Holland House Hotel, Marble Collegiate Church in the distance. The image also features horse-drawn carriages and pedestrians.
Fifth Avenue and 34th Street, New York (back)
Personal message on back of postcard is addressed to a Miss F.E.L. Taylor, "Dear E, Is everything okay? I hope so. Have been thinking about you all and trust everything is O.K. now. Hope that stove and everything is working fine. Love, Mama." The postscript instructs the addressee to meet the 10:30 train.
Fifth Avenue and 34th Street, New York.
Image taken from the Northeast side of Fifth Avenue and 34th Street. The buildings on the opposite side of Fifth Avenue looking south are visible, starting with the Empire State Building which dominates the image. The image features crowds on the sidewalks, cars and a bus in the street. In the foreground, a car is parked facing north, indicating that Fifth Avenue was, at this time, a two-way street.
Fifth Avenue and Empire State Building, New York (back)
There is a personal note written to William Vincent Murray of Belgrade Lakes, Maine, "How did you like the cruise, dear? I am sure you had a good time. I have sent you some films for your camera." It is signed, "With usual love, Pat."
Fifth Avenue and Empire State Building, New York.
350 Fifth Avenue, between 33rd and 34th Streets. This color postcard is an idealized drawing of the Empire State Building looking at it from Fifth Avenue. There are the smaller buildings surrounding the Empire State Building. On Fifth Avenue, people are walking on the sidewalks while the street is filled with cars and a bus.
Fifth Avenue from 33rd Street
A street view of 5th Avenue looking north. Waldorf Astoria, Knickerbocker Trust, Brick Presbyterian Church, Altman Building. Sales signs on storefronts just below 34th St.
Fifth Avenue looking northwest from 31st St., 1907.
This photo of Fifth Ave., looking northwest from 31st St., was taken about 1907. Old residential properties on and near northwest corner have been converted to commerce. At right, from 33rd to 34th Sts., (behind the street sign) stands world-famous hostelry the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
Fifth Avenue looking south from 35th St., 1898 with Waldorf Hotel, A. T. Stewart residence, and two other mansions in foreground.
Fifth Avenue looking south from 35th St., 1898 with Waldorf Hotel, A. T. Stewart residence, and two other mansions in the foreground.
First cars to use Park Avenue Tunnel, Park Avenue and 33rd Street.
The first cars to use the newly converted Park Avenue Tunnel which had previously been used as a railroad tunnel. View is looking north toward Grand Central Terminal from 33rd Street.
Fold out map showing train lines from Newark through the 5 boroughs.
NYC five boroughs. Color map showing train lines from Newark through the boroughs of Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn.
Fold-out view of Penn Station façade.
West 34th Street and Eighth Avenue. Book illustration of the original Beaux-Arts Penn Station façade featuring granite columns designed by architects McKim, Mead and White.
Fourth Avenue Horse Car Line.
Park Avenue at 33rd Street. Shows the Murray Hill Tunnel, later called the Park Avenue Tunnel, with Fourth Avenue Horse Car Line "Harlem via Madison Av." with The Church of the Messiah in background.
Gimbel Brothers Building - New York.
Color postcard of Gimbel Brothers Department store on 33rd Street and Broadway and the present location of the Manhattan Mall. The image also features street railroads, horse drawn carriages and cars.
Gimbels at Greeley Square – 33rd St. & Broadway, N.Y. Other Gimbel Stores at Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee.
Black and white postcard depicting the façade of the Gimbel Brothers Department store on 33rd Street. Greeley Square is visible on the lower right corner of the image.
Gorham Building façade.
Gorham Building on Fifth Avenue and 36th Street designed by McKim, Mead and White.
Grand Dining Room, Stewart's Hotel for Working Women.
Fourth Avenue, 32nd and 33rd Streets. Illustration of the Grand Ballroom of the Women's Hotel. Stewart's Hotel for Working Women was commissioned by the wealthy merchant, A.T. Stewart. The hotel opened in 1877 to provide safe housing for the influx of working women into the city. It was soon reopened as a regular hotel in 1878 and renamed the Park Avenue Hotel. The building was demolished in 1927.
Greeley Sq north c1933.
Saks 34th Street store, Greeley statue, buses, the Sixth Avenue El and Macy's.
Greeley Square, Horace Greeley sculpture.
Broadway and 32nd Street. Photograph depicting a memorial statue of Horace Greeley (1811-1872), newspaper editor for the New York Tribune.
Greeley Square, view to north.
Greeley Square. Broadway between 32nd and 33rd Streets.
Greeley Square, view to south.
Greeley Square. Sixth Avenue.
Harrigan's Theater - West Thirty-fifth Street, near Sixth Avenue. Francis H. Kimball, Architect.
West 35th Street near Sixth Avenue. Image shows the façade of Harrigan's Theater designed by architect Francis Hatch Kimball and built by Edward Harrigan (of Harrigan & Hart), who managed it until 1895, when Richard Mansfield took over renaming it the Garrick.
Herald Building and Herald Square.
Print of the Herald Building and Herald Square which includes pedestrians, automobiles, street cars and the elevated train. The image provides a good view of the architecture of architectural elements including decorative and sculptural features.
Herald Square - New York City.
Color postcard depicting Herald Square and the intersection of Broadway and Sixth Avenue. The image also shows the Sixth Avenue El and the 33rd Street train station and car traffic on the streets below.
Herald Square Hotel façade.
19 West 32nd Street. Herald Square Hotel which was at one time the headquarters of Life Magazine.
Herald Square Hotel.
One Block East of Pennsylvania Terminal from Hudson tubes Connecting at Hoboken with Lackawanna R.R. & Ocean Steamship piers; at Jersey City with Erie R.R. Crosstown cars passing the Hotel transfer to Grand Central Station (8 minutes) and other parts of the city. Theatres and shopping district in easy walking distance. 34th Street and Broadway.
Herald Square Owl.
Bronze owl on the clock in Herald Square North sculpted by Antonin Jean Carles which stood atop the roof of the Herald York Herald building, Sixth Avenue and 34th Street.
Herald Square Theatre. Sunday Nite, November 30.
Illustrated advertisement for a presentation of John Phillip Sousa and his marching band's new march dedicated to King Edward VII. Other artists on the bill: Estelle Liebling, soprano; Grace Jenkinds, violinist [sic], Arthur Pryor, Trombone.
Herald Square Theatre. The Messrs. Shubert's New York Theatres, Sam S. and Lee Shubert, Proprietors.
Advertisement for several Shubert-operated theatres upcoming productions, including the English comedy "The Night of the Party" at the Princess Theatre, "A Chinese Honeymoon" at the Casino Theatre, and "A Cigarettemaker's Romance: at the Herald Square Theatre starring Martin Harvey.

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