Manhattan 1906: 4th Avenue – 22nd Street (S.W. Corner) Image ID: 708226F

Today’s post finds a straw hatted gentleman, perhaps on a lunch break, leaning and waiting against the Bank for Savings, which now houses a Morton Williams supermarket and a commercial office. The larger picture is worth a look at for context and a great example of how quickly things have always changed around here.

The Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church, visible on the N. W. corner of 22nd, is, of course, gone. In 1910, the congregation bought land uptown to build the Broadway Presbyterian Church at 114th and Broadway – which I pass almost every day! This property was sold for $600,000 and the Mills and Gibb Building, still there today, went up later that year. You can see, looking north across 23rd street, the original MetLife building, which gave way to the current one in 1957.

But check this out. First, taken from New York then and now: 83 Manhattan sites photographed in the past and in the present by Edward B. Watson and Edmund Vincent Gillon (NY, Dover: 1976), this photo shows the Y.M.C.A. (torn down in 1903) on the S.W. corner of 23rd and, across the street, one on a list of my favorite buildings I will never see: the lovely, Venetian-inspired Academy of Design (RIP 1901) which was replaced with the Met Life building visible in in the 1906 long view above. I’ll be writing about that building soon.

And, finally, this. On our original corner, where the Bank for Savings (built in 1894 by Cyrus L. W. Eidlitz) supported our lunchtime wall-leaner, it looked completely different in 1890. It looks almost like a small town corner!


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