New York Public Library, New York City (2)

The New York Public Library, seen from the corner of Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street around 1908. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The view in 2016:

The first photo here was taken a few years before the one in this earlier post, and it shows the library shortly before its completion. At this point the building had been under construction for about six years, and although the exterior was mostly finished, there was still about three more years of work left to do. The grounds had not been landscaped yet, and instead the library was surrounded by dirt and debris, with a simple brick wall and metal picket fence around the construction site. Also missing from the first photo were the two lion statues that now flank the front steps. Originally nicknamed Leo Astor and Leo Lenox after two of the library’s greatest benefactors, they were designed by sculptor Edward Clark Potter and were installed by the time the library opened in 1911.

Grand Central Terminal, New York

Grand Central Depot in 1871. Image courtesy of New York Public Library.


The newly reconstructed Grand Central Station around 1900. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.


The present-day Grand Central Terminal in 2019:

The three photos show the three different versions of the railroad station on 42nd Street.  Originally built in 1871 and named Grand Central Depot, it was a joint effort between three New York railroads, hence the term “grand central.”  It was extensively rebuilt from 1899 to 1900, as shown in the second photo, but it didn’t last for long.  Starting in 1903, it was demolished in stages and replaced with the current structure, which was completed in 1913.  This building itself was threatened in the 1960s – it was designed to be able to support the weight of a tower above it, and several proposals were considered, one of which would have kept the original structure, while stripping it of most of its historic significance. Ultimately, the city declared the building a landmark, thus preventing it from being altered or demolished.