Sonntag, 17. Oktober 2010

Part 4 - World Building - The early years

Part 2 and 3 told us about the history and last days of the first World Building. Now it's time to go back to the corner at Park Row / Frankfort Street, where the second and famous World Building soon will appear.

This picture was taken around the year 1880. There is the City Hall Park in the foreground. One of the houses on the very left side belongs to the "New York Mail". The light six-stories-box on the street corner is the French's Hotel again, the side, where the "World Building" will appear a few years later. The dark building on the other side of the Frankfort Street belongs to "The Sun". The most impressive and the highest building at Newspaper Row in this days was the "Tribune Building" in the center of the picture. On the right side the building of the New York Times. Far away in the background you can also see a pylon of the Brooklyn Bridge. It's possible, that the bridge wasn't finished, when this picture had been taken, Brooklyn Bridge was opened in 1883.

The same buildings described in the last picture are shown on this picture. The date is unknown, but it must be the early 1880s too. On the left side you can see a part of the New York City Hall.

Winter 1888/1889 - from west to east. On the very left side the New York City Hall. For the last time the French's Hotel on the left side. It will be torn down in the year 1889 to get space for the new World Building. In the center of the picture two buildings. The right one is the Tribune Building, still the highest building at the City Hall Park with it's small tower on the roof. On the left side the building of "The Sun". If you only use a short view, it seems, that the Sun Building got a lot of new stories too to get it as high as the Tribune Building. It only seems. The Sun Building is still a 6-stories building. A higher building was erected on the lot behind the Sun Building. I don't know it's name.

We have reached the year 1891 now. And the face ot the Newspaper Row changed in the two years after the last picture. On the left side the new World Building has been finished now.

"Construction of the New York World Building began on October 10, 1889, at 53-63 Park Row, on the corner of Park Row and the now-closed Frankfort Street. The building was completed on December 10, 1890. The claimed height of the building was 20 stories, comparable to 16 or 18 stories by current standards. The New York World Building was also known as the Pulitzer Building after the paper's owner, Joseph Pulitzer, who commissioned it. Pulitzer's private office was on the second level of the dome and looked down on other buildings along the street. During the 19th century, many high-rise buildings were constructed by newspaper companies along Park Row, immediately east of the old New York City Hall. This developed into a competition and a race for the tallest. Other contenders included the Tribune Building designed by Richard Morris Hunt (1876), the Potter Building (1886), the Park Row Building (1899), and two other buildings by George Post, the St. Paul Building (1895–1898), and the old Times Building (1889). The New York World Building was the winner of this competition and the tallest building in New York City for about five years. It was the city's first building to surpass the 284-foot spire of Trinity Church which, at the time, dominated the city's skyline."

Back again to the 1891 picture. In the center of the picture the Tribune building on the right, the small Sun Building on the left and the higher structure in the background, maybe a part of the Tribune Building. On the very right another change. The old 6 stories Times Building has been torn down too and a new Times Building appeared on this side, a higher one like all the other buildings around. Architect of the new Times Building was George B. Post, also architect of the World Building.

Here is a map from 1891 showing the area on the picture.

Here is another early picture of the World Building, taken in 1891 too. Same buildings as seen on the first 1891 picture.

The famous "World Almanac" also was a product of the "New York World". The World Building appeared on the cover of the World Almanac from 1890 until 1934. Here is the World Almanac's cover from 1892:

Another Almanac front page, from the year 1894:

A picture postcard from the 1890s, showing the New York City Hall on the left and the World Building and Sun Building on the right:

The World Building was the highest office building on earth in the early years. So it was also interesting for photographers to catch panorama views from the top of the highrise building.

This picture is dated 1890. The photograph was looking in south direction. It's hard to identify buildings, but I think, the church tower on the right belongs to Trinity Church and the large building in front of it may be the old Equitable Building. The Statue of Liberty on Bedloe's Island appears on the very right side of the picture. Staten Island is in the background and Governors Island on the right.

The next three pictures show the view from World Building on Brooklyn Bridge.




Now we leave the World Building and take place on the platform of the Brooklyn Bridge Railroad Station on Manhattan side. This backside view of the early World Building was taken in the 1890s.

Next picture is this stereo card from 1896: City Hall on the left, Tribune Building on the right and the New York World Building in the middle.

Last picture of this part was taken in 1897 and shows the wellknown "Newspaper Row" scenery again, 7 years after the appearance of the World Building. The new higher building behind the old Times Building is the "American Tract Society Building", erected from 1894-1896 and still there.

Google, NYPL Digital Gallery and

Part 5
World Building at the edge of the gone centuries

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