Santa Claus at Herald Square, New York City

Santa Claus at Herald Square, around 1903. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.


The view in 2014:


Apparently this was before Santa put on some weight. I suppose 110 years of milk and cookies will do that to a guy. In any case, both photos show the scene looking north along Broadway at Herald Square.  The Macy’s building is on the left in both photos, and the New York Herald building is partially visible on the far right. The Santa in the picture is collecting money for Ballington and Maude Booth’s Volunteers of America organization.  The sign indicates that they are looking to raise funds to give clothing and shoes to 5,000 poor for Christmas.

Casino Theatre, New York City (1)

A group of people waiting outside the Casino Theatre for matinee tickets, between 1900 and 1910. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.


The same location in 2014:


Located at the corner of Broadway and West 39th Street, the Casino Theatre was built in 1882 and demolished in 1930. It was home to a number of plays and musicals, but over time the Broadway theater district drifted northward, and the Garment District expanded into this area, leading to its 1930 closure. In this photo, a group of people wait outside for matinee tickets on a Saturday.

Casino Theatre, New York City (2)

The Casino Theatre in New York City, around 1900. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.


The scene in 2014:


A view of the Casino Theatre looking south from across 39th Street and Broadway. The theater was completed in 1882, but was closed and demolished in 1930 as the theater district moved its way north along Broadway.  At the time of this photo, the theater was playing “The Belle of Bohemia,” and the round sign on the corner of the building advertises that all seats for Wednesday matinees cost 50 cents.

Corner of Mulberry & Mosco Streets, New York City

Clam sellers at the corner of Mulberry & Mosco Streets, New York City, around 1900:

The location in 2014:

This scene, looking up Mosco Street, is at the heart of what was once the Five Points neighborhood.  Mosco Street was originally named Cross Street, and was one of the streets that formed the Five Points intersection, which was located a block in the opposite direction.  This area became an infamous slum in the 19th century, and was the setting for the movie “Gangs of New York.” Today, the renamed Cross Street has been truncated to just one block; it ends at Mulberry Street, and all of the buildings on the west side of Mulberry (including the building on the far right of the first photo) were demolished to create Columbus Park. The building across the street is still there, although the corner entrance has been remodeled. Aside from that, the rest of the facade is still recognizable. Another difference is the makeup of the neighborhood; in 1900 this was a part of Little Italy, but today it has been absorbed into Chinatown.

Broadway & 29th Streets, New York City

The view looking north along Broadway, just above 29th Street, after a snowstorm around 1905. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.


The same scene in 2014:


I’m sure the “straw hats for this sweltering weather” really came in handy in the 1905 photo.  Not much has stayed the same along this stretch of Broadway – the only building I can identify in both photos is the one on the far right, although even this building has been altered in the past 100+ years.

28th Street Subway Station (2)

Another view of the 28th Street station, around 1904. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.


The station in 2014:


One of the now-closed exit stairways in the 28th Street station. The first plot was probably taken around the time it opened, on October 27, 1904. Notice the mosaic of the station name to the left, which is still there after 110 years.