The oldest and most incredible footage of New York City known to exist, including where the WTC would be built. With added maps carefully researched to show where the camera was. 28 shots of classic footage with a new twist and a new soundtrack.
This collection of footage was taken between 1896 and 1905 and shows various places around New York City, all identifiable by location on a map.
In order they are:
1. Panorama from Times Building, New York – W. 42nd Street and 7th Avenue, up 6th Ave ending at Times Square
2. Interior N.Y. Subway, 14th St. to 42nd St. ending at the Old Grand Central Station
3. Opening of New East River Bridge, New York – Williamsburg Bridge, on the East River
4. ‘Move On’ – A fruit market somewhere on the lower East Side
5. At the Foot of The Flatiron, or Fuller Building on Broadway and 23rd Street, on the Broadway side near the narrow north corner.
6. Parade of “Exempt” Firemen – Washington Square Park (Greenwich Village) showing Washington Square Arch
7. Panorama of Blackwell’s Island, N.Y. – Heading along the eastern shore of Blackwell’s Island, known today as Roosevelt Island. Shows Lighthouse Park and the construction of the Queensboro Bridge over Roosevelt Island, with Manhattan in the far background.
8. Skyscrapers of New York City, from the North River – On the Hudson River, looking toward the piers of Lower Manhattan. Shows approximately where the World Trade Center would be located many years later.
9. Old site of the New York Aquarium (which moved to Coney Island in 1957) and Battery Park.
10. Panorama of Flatiron Building – Looking south from Madison Square across Broadway, Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street
11. Parade of Horses on Speedway – on the West Bank of the Harlem River, Highbridge in North Manhattan. Taken from Harlem River Drive, the footage shows the old High Bridge at 175th Street and the Washington Bridge at 181st Street
12. Lower Broadway – Looking north up Lower Broadway from Wall Street, at the Trinity Churchyard Cemetery
13. Looking along the length of 23rd Street, with the elevated EI in the background.
14. Time-lapse demolition of the Star Theatre on 13th Street and Broadway.
15. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Parade on Fifth Avenue
16. Skating on the Lake – Ice skating in Central Park
17. Dewey Arch stood at Madison Square over 5th Avenue between 25th and 24th Streets. It was demolished in 1900.
18. Automobile Parade – Downtown Manhattan on the corner of E. 27th Street and Madison Avenue, with the old Madison Square Garden in the background (now the New York Life Building). Stanford White, the building’s architect, was murdered in the rooftop restaurant.
19. New York Police Parade – Parade turning into 14th Street from Broadway. In the background is Morton Hose, today the Union Square Theatre.
20. A month earlier from almost the same spot, footage shows the great blizzard that year. In the background is the statue of Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, who designed the Statue of Liberty. The statue still stands today.
21. Union Square – a fight between two newspaper sellers, likely young boys.
22. Panorama from the Tower of Brooklyn Bridge
23. Liberty Island – the island which holds the Statue of Liberty was called Bedloe’s Island until 1956. The statue was erected 12 years before this footage was taken.
24. Racing At Sheepshead Bay, Coney Island. Old maps indicate that the race track was east of Ocean Avenue, between avenues X and Y.
25. Union Square, looking north-east from the corner of E 16th Street, with 33 E.17th Street Center Publishing Company in the background.
26. Mounted Police in Central Park
27. Bergen Beach near Coney Island. Shooting the Chutes was one of the first amusement rides.
28. The oldest footage of New York City ever – 11 May 1896 – Herald Square, at the intersection of Broadway, 6th Avenue and 34th Street.
Panorama from Times Building, New York
Interior N.Y. Subway, 14th St. to 42nd St.
At the Foot of The Flatiron
Parade of “Exempt” Firemen
Panorama of Flatiron Building
Parade of Horses on Speedway
Panorama from the Tower of Brooklyn Bridge
Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Parade
Skating on Lake
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, PD-US
Opening of New East River Bridge, New York
Panorama of Blackwell’s Island, N.Y.
Skyscrapers of New York City, from the North River
What Happened On 23rd Street
New York Police Parade
Racing At Sheepshead Bay
Thomas A. Edison, Inc., PD-US
Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division.
Photo of World Trade Center – Andrew Fogg
Produced by Yestervid © 2014
Courtesy of the New York Public Library Archives.