weekend diversion: photo spread of New York from days past [UPDATED]

caution: time suck ahead
Thanks to Curbed for pointing out yesterday its new favorite tumblr, which is now my new favorite tumblr. (Now added to the Favorite Links on the right, in fact.)  NYC Past has a great story behind it, which Curbed gets to in an interview, and great photos on it, some going back to the early 1900s 1880, some as recent as 1980s.

I am going to spend some time figuring out where on Washington Street that bottom picture on the first page is from. And I particularly like the bottom photo on page 8, with the hotel in 1905 that became The Grand Madison condo in 2006, on the right. To get a sense of how massive that hotel was at that time, now look (again) at the very first photo in this collection, at the top of the first page. That is taken in the same year, with the hotel just out of frame on the right, looking up 5th Avenue from across the street from the hotel.

Unless you start clicking through the photos when you have nothing to do for a while, be sure to set an alarm.

[UPDATE 4:18 I just finished clicking through the whole collection (as of now). WOW. Part of the fun is serendipity, as there is no evident rhyme or reason to the sequencing, and you eventually figure out to scroll down just above the caption, to give ourself a chance to guess. Tons of photos of the Flatiron Building, many of Grand Central, the (old) Waldorf Astoria, (old) Madison Square Garden. There’s one way back in the set that will break your heart (old Penn Station, 1915) if you come upon it not expecting it (spoiled that, I guess). A bunch from Central Park, including one of the Sheep Meadow with … (wait for it) … sheep. Gotta get out my old New York books to have a better shot at identifying some of the old buildings, and locations more specific than the captioned "Downtown". A wonderful time suck, indeed.]

© Sandy Mattingly 2013


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