Until 1929, the Waldorf-Astoria stood at the southwest corner of Thirty-fourth Street and Fifth Avenue in New York. On October 1 of that year, demolition of the famous hotel began, and on May 1, 1931, the Empire State Building opened on the space. In the same year, the Waldorf reopened at its current address between […]
In the nineteenth century, the district known as Harlem in northern Manhattan was a fashionable white residential district, a favorite site for summer homes. Apartment buildings rose in the boom of the 1880s. After the panic of 1893, however, many buildings became vacant, and property owners began renting to blacks. By World War I, much […]
The first movie at Radio City Music Hall was The Bitter Tea of General Yen, directed by Frank Capra and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Nils Asther. It opened in January 1934. The final movie was The Promise, directed by Gilbert Cates and starring Kathleen Quinlan and Stephen Collins. The final showing was on April 25, […]
Erected in June 1892 on a nine-story building near Broadway and Twenty-third Street, the first electric sign in New York measured 60 by 68 feet and read: Buy Homes On Long Island Swept By Ocean Breezes Manhattan Beach Oriental Hotel Manhattan Hotel Gilmore’s Band Brock’s Fireworks
The Miss Subways program, run by the New York Subway Advertising Company, started in May 1941 and ended in December 1976. Every month a Miss Subways, a woman over 17, not an actress or a model, was chosen. She was featured on signs and was given a $50 sterling silver charm with dangling subway tokens. […]
The Hotel Pennsylvania was located at Seventh Avenue and Thirty-third Street in Manhattan. It was built in 1918. The phone number Pennsylvania 6-5000 was that of the hotel’s Club Rouge, where Miller and his band often appeared. The hotel is now the New York Penta Hotel.
In the late 1800s, New York’s Ladies’ Mile was Manhattan’s high-class shopping district. This equivalent of Fifth Avenue or Fifty-seventh Street ran from Eighth Street to Twenty-third Street, bound on the east by Broadway and on the west by Sixth Avenue. These areas are now parts of the more residential neighborhoods of Greenwich Village and […]
The speed limit in New York City is thirty miles per hour on the streets, 50 miles per hour on the highways, except where otherwise noted.
New York socialite Samuel Ward McAllister created the term in 1892, when he planned a party to be held in Mrs. William Astor’s ballroom. Since the ballroom held only 400 people, McAllister limited the invitations to those he decided were the inner elite of New York society.
Sixth Avenue was renamed Avenue of the Americas on October 2, 1945, by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia (1882-1947). He signed a bill officially changing the name to honor all the countries of the two continents.
There have been four Madison Square Gardens, but only the first two were on Madison Square, at Madison Avenue and East Twenty-sixth Street. The first arena, originally a railroad depot, was given the name Madison Square Garden in 1879. The second was designed by Stanford White and built in 1890. The third, located between Forty-ninth […]
Central Park in New York first opened to the public in October 1858.
At least 146 women, mainly young immigrants, died in the sweatshop fire in the Triangle Waist Company that occurred on April 20, 1911. The sprinkler system was inadequate, the 500 female workers stood back-to-back on the crowded work floors, and the fire doors were kept locked to prevent theft. The company owners were later acquitted […]
The headquarters for the Democratic party organization Tammany Hall was once a social club named for a seventeenth-century Delaware Indian chief. After the Revolution, Aaron Burr transformed it into a political machine, using it to strengthen the 1800 presidential campaign of Thomas Jefferson. Its power grew throughout the nineteenth century and Tammany Hall became the […]
Needle Park, the infamous hangout in New York for addicts and dealers in the 1960s and 1970s was Verdi Square Park. It is named for the Italian composer, and occupies a triangular area between Seventy-second and Seventy-third Streets at Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.
The New York Stock and Exchange Board was formally organized in 1817, and the name New York Stock Exchange was adopted in 1863. Since 1953, membership in the exchange has been limited to 1,366. Since 1868, new members have purchased seats (with exchange approval) from existing members.
Yes, but the Biltmore clock is now part of the 78-story atrium of the Bank of America Plaza at 335 Madison Avenue. It once hung over the entrance to the lavish Palm Court salon in the famed Biltmore Hotel, between Madison and Vanderbilt Avenues and Forty-third and Forty-fourth Streets. The bronze clock is the only […]
Times Square was named for the 1903 building that was headquarters for the New York Times. The building, located at the intersection of Seventh Avenue, Forty-second Street, and Broadway, transmitted news by the band of electric lights that ran across the top of the building. New York Newsday now occupies the spot and still flashes […]
Todt Hill, on Staten Island, at 426 feet is the highest natural elevation in the New York metropolitan area. In fact, it is the highest point on the eastern seaboard south of Maine. Cadillac Mountain in Maine is the highest point on the eastern seaboard.
Giovanni da Verrazano, an Italian explorer, first sighted Manhattan in 1524. However, English explorer Henry Hudson, who sailed into what is now known as the Hudson River in 1609, is credited as the island’s discoverer.
Tavern-on-the-Green in Central Park was built in 1870, not as a restaurant but to house sheep and their shepherd and his family. In 1934, the sheep were moved to Prospect Park in Brooklyn and the building was converted to a restaurant. Glass pavilions were added to the original brick structure from 1975 to 1976.
Manhattan is 13.4 miles long, 2.3 miles across at its widest point, and 22.5 square miles in area.
The last smoking sign in Times Square, which had advertised Winston cigarettes for five years, stopped blowing rings September 13, 1977. Like its predecessors for much of the twentieth century, it blew about 1,000 rings a day; a steam-producing box, located behind the head of the man in the sign, created the rings. The Winston […]
World Trade Center. 1,350 feet high, 110 stories Empire State Building. 1,250 feet high, 102 stories (with the 164-foot television tower included, it is 1,414 feet high) Chrysler Building. 1,046 feet high, 77 stories AT&T Building. 950 feet high, 67 stories 40 Wall Tower. 927 feet high, 71 stories