Vintage Postcards from Old New York in the Early 20th Century

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Fifth Avenue looking north from 51st Street around 1900. A newsboy stands on the corner as a couple passes by on a mostly deserted thoroughfare. The triple palaces of the Vanderbilt’s stand between 51st and 52nd Streets and the northwest corner of 52nd Street. The first two mansions were given to his daughters by William Henry Vanderbilt, the third on 52nd Street was the home of William K. Vanderbilt. By 1945 all three mansions were gone; victims of changing tastes, expenses, and the rising value of real estate. The churches in the background are St. Thomas Episcopal Church and the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church.

Photo: SNCA