Looking south along Fifth Avenue toward the intersection of 34th Street, around 1904, with the Knickerbocker Trust Company building in the foreground and the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel beyond it. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.
The scene in 2016:
The two buildings in the first photo, the Waldorf-Astoria and the Knickerbocker Trust Company Building, have been discussed in further detail in earlier posts, but this photo here provides a particularly good view of the architecture of the Knickerbocker building, which had been completed around that time. It was designed by McKim, Mead & White, a prominent architectural firm whose other significant works of the era included the Boston Public Library and New York’s Penn Station. Unfortunately, although the bank building is technically still standing here, subsequent alterations have completely destroyed the original architecture, including the addition of 10 stories on top of it in 1921 and the replacement of the facade in 1958 with the bland exterior that it now has. As for the Waldorf-Astoria, it is obviously no longer standing; the famous hotel was demolished in 1929 and the Empire State Building was built in its place.
2 thoughts on “Waldorf-Astoria and Knickerbocker Trust, New York City”
Thank you for this post! I came across it while researching this painting in my museum’s collection, which shows the same two buildings looking north along 5th avenue: https://www.telfair.org/artwork/5335/
You might also be interested to see a lovely drawing by Joseph Pennell from the LoC that is remarkably similar to the c. 1904 photograph: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Waldorf-Astoria_1904-1908b.jpg
Thanks for sharing! Childe Hassam is one of my favorite artists.