Fascinating Historic Photos of New York City

by / Friday, 31 July 2009 / Published in New York City

Here are some fascinating historic photos showing what life in New York City used to be like in the early 20th Century.  Click on the photos to view them at full size.

1930s Airship over Manhattan

This first photo is of the USS Akron flying over Manhattan in the early 1930s. The USS Akron was an airship capable of carrying and launching three F9C Sparrowhawk airplanes.

The USS Akron flying over Manhattan in the early 1930s

Here’s a Sparrowhawk airplane hooking in for a landing in the USS Akron:

Sparrowhawk hooking into the USS Akron, 1932

One of the cool facts about the Empire State Building is that it originally had an airship docking station on it!

This photo shows the spectacular view from over the City during a sunset in 1932:

Spectacular sunset over NYC in 1932

Empire State Building Construction, 1930

This photo from 1930 is of a construction worker who is helping to complete the Empire State Building.  The Empire State Building was finished in 1931.

Construction worker on the Empire State Building in 1930

Little Italy around 1900

This colorized photo of Mulberry Street was taken in NYC’s Little Italy around 1900.

Mulberry Street in NYC around 1900

Ellis Island at the Beginning of 20th Century

Ellis Island is an important part of US history, since it’s estimated that over 40% of the US population has ancestors that immigrated to the US through this entry point! Ellis Island was in operation as an immigration facility between 1892 to 1954.

This photo of Ellis Island is from 1900:

Ellis Island NYC 1900

Ellis Island immigrants in 1902:

Ellis Island - photo from 1902

Lower East Side in 1903

This is a photo of Hester Street in the Lower East side, 1903. At the time, the Lower East Side was a center of Jewish immigration.

Hester Street, Lower East Side, New York, 1903

Here’s a panoramic photo of Hester Street from around 1902:

Hester Street Panorama c.1902

Hester Street was featured in a movie of the same name.

Easter Parade, 1900

This photo of an Easter Parade is from 1900.  Note the horse-drawn carriages!

New York City Easter Parade 1900

New York City Lights, 1935

The stunning City lights, over 70 years ago:

New York City Lights, 1935

Madison Square’s Famous Skyscrapers

This first photo of Madison Square is from 1908. Note the horses and carriages as well as the trolleys.  It’s difficult to see what the trolleys are powered by, but New York City was running horse-drawn trolleys until 1917 — 9 years after this photo was taken!

Madison Square NYC in 1908

Here is the Flatiron Building from Madison Square in 1903 — also seen in the above photo on the right:

Flatiron Building 1903

Also viewed from Madison Square, this is another of New York’s historic buildings — the Met Life Tower in 1911 during its peak as the tallest building in the world!

Met Life Tower in 1911

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    4 Responses to “Fascinating Historic Photos of New York City”

    1. David Jankay says :

      These’s pictures are amazing. Thank you.

    2. Minnie says :

      I love the photos and short stories on the 10 cool Historic Building in New York City. The Sky Line is great and the Chrysler Building is one of my favorites

    3. Michael says :

      Stunning and beautiful.
      What I wouldn’t do to have lived during this fantastic time

    4. Robert hogan says :

      1936 photos of east 136th bronx,new york and 400 east 145th street in the 50 s ,duffys tavern,neighbor hood grocery store.

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