Metropolitan Life Insurance Building, New York City

The view of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Building, looking east on 23rd Street in New York City, in 1900. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The same view in 2014:

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Prior to the construction of the tower, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company was headquartered in the 11-story building at the corner of Madison Avenue and 23rd Street.  It was built in 1893, and appears to dominate over its surroundings.  However, as seen here, it was soon dwarfed by the tower when it was completed in 1909.  It was demolished in the 1950s and replaced with the current, nondescript concrete and glass structure at the same location.

As an interesting historical note, the building in the 1900 photo has a banner on it that reads “Headquarters Republican National Committee,” and a huge banner over 23rd Street to promote the candidacy of William McKinley for president and Theodore Roosevelt for vice president.  They would go on to win the election in the fall, and a year later Roosevelt became president after McKinley’s assassination.

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower, New York City

The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower, between 1909 and 1915. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The same building in 2014:

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Completed in 1909, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower was the tallest building in the world until the completion of the Woolworth Building in 1913.  It was the company’s headquarters until 2005, and the tower portion is now being converted into a hotel.  At the base of the tower in the first photo, to the right, is the original office building, which built in 1893 and replaced by the current one in the 1950s.

Flatiron Building, New York City

The view of the Flatiron Building around 1902. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The same scene in 2014:

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Another view of the Flatiron Building, looking south with Broadway on the left and Fifth Avenue on the right.  Besides the Flatiron Building, a few other ones still exist from the 1902 photo, including the  building with the gold dome to the right, and the short, yellow brick building just beyond the Flatiron Building along Broadway.  Notice the horse-drawn cabs along the side of Broadway – this photo was taken from almost the same location as this one, except in the road instead of along the sidewalk.

Flatiron Building from Madison Square Park, New York City

View of the Flatiron Building around 1903. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

The same view in 2014:

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Built in 1902 on a triangular plot of land between Broadway and Fifth Avenue at Madison Square, the Flatiron Building remains one of New York’s most distinctive skyscraper.  At the time of its completion, it was one of the first skyscrapers outside of the downtown area, and the first north of 14th Street, which set the stage for subsequent skyscrapers that now dominate the midtown skyline.

Technical High School, Springfield

This photo, taken between 1905 and 1910, shows the then-new Technical High School, located on Elliot Street in Springfield. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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Over a century later, here’s the same scene as it looks in 2012:

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The exterior of the building looks the same, but that’s the only thing these two buildings have in common.  The building served as a high school from 1905 until 1986, during which time it had several notable alumni, including Hall of Fame baseball player Rabbit Maranville.  Then, several years ago the building was demolished except for the facade, which was preserved for a new state data center, which is now nearing completion as of December 2012.