New York in 1905 in 19 photos

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City hall post office, 1905

This beautiful City hall post office was demolished several decades later

These beautiful photos captured New York in 1905, the so-called Gilded Age of the city. The ‘capital of the world’ as we know NYC today, shaped its architectural face, crowded by multinational immigrants, got ready for the skyrocketing historical booming growth.

In 1905 New York City was a city of spectacular architecture, large and beautiful parks and squares, unique mansions, and magnificent public buildings. That was a result of the tremendous economic growth which continued for several decades before.

Flatiron building, winter 1905

The Flatiron building is considered to be the first NYC skyscraper.

One city, two worlds

But there was another layer under this golden city surface. It consisted of immigrants, tenements, and sweatshops, which lived in parallel with life-celebrating wealthy city elite. Both these two worlds contributed to the unique city identity, which made NYC the ‘city of cities’, ‘capital of the world’.

In 1905 New York witnessed the overwhelming “metropolitan industrialism” and the meteoric growth of its middle class, and specifically traders of all kind. Middle-class residential neighborhoods such as Washington Square and Astor Place had their areas of cultural refinement, that seemed to live in the different reality with brawling hustle of the downtown commercial and financial districts.

Read more: Madison Square near the Flatiron Building, New York City, 1918

Lombardis pizzeria NYC 1905

The first licensed pizzeria in the USA, NYC

The first licensed pizzeria in the USA, Lombardi’s, at 53 1/2 Spring St. in NYC. Gennaro Lombardi and his pizza maker, Antonio Totonno Pero, 1905.

Read more: Shoeshine Boy, New York City, 1924

street cleaner NYC

City administration tried to keep streets as clean as possible… at least in the commercial downtown area.

23th sreet in 1905, NYC

Winter in 1905 was snowy and chilly. 23rd street.

manhattan bridge construction

Famous manhattan bridge under construction, 1905

34th Regiment Armory NYC

Another demolished architectural masterpiece: The Regiment Armory on the 34th street

clam sellet, NYC, 1905

The clam seller, commercial district.

23th street

Everyday city life at 23th street

Italian district, NYC 1905

Italians liked to settle all together, just like other nationalities did—Italian village.

Harlem NYC 1905

Harlem in 1905 was just another overcrowded district of the NYC, without any skin color specifics.

financial district

The financial district is not world-famous yet, but it has unique energetic already.

dead horse on the NYC stret

The grim end of the workaholic animal in the big city.

Brooklyn bridge entrance

Brooklyn bridge entrance

photographer above the 5th avenue

A famous picture of the photographer above the 5th avenue


Dreamland Park on Coney Island

The park was created by William H. Reynolds, who was a very successful Brooklyn real estate developer who had his hand at many city’s public constructions (and state senator in the past). Reynold’s idea was to compete with Luna Park, a neighboring amusement park opened in 1903. Dreamland was supposed to be refined and elegant in its design and architecture, compared to Luna Park with its many rides and chaotic noise. Another nice addition to New York 1905 in photos collection.

Fighthing flame

Fighting flame, NYC, 1905

Taxi cab 1905

A taxi cab in 1905. This horse seems to hate Uber already

Subway construction scene

Just imagine the work conditions of these subway builders

The first Subway stations were launched in 1904, but the city continued to construct its underground transport intensively.

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