Saturday, November 29, 2014

Ansonia Hotel - 1903 - 74th and Broadway - NYC

Ansonia Hotel - 1903 - 74th and Broadway - NYC
(Public Domain)

Catalogue of the architectural exhibition by the T Square Club - 1915


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

East Boston High - R. Guastavino and Son - 1899

(Image: The Bricklayer 1899)

East Boston High School - 86 White Street - Torn Down 1920

Dome by R. Guastavino Company - John Lyman Faxon, Architect 


Friday, September 26, 2014

Manhattan Club - 96 Fifth Avenue NYC - 1872

Miller’s New York As It Is, or Stranger’s Guide-book - 1872
(original copyright expired)

Manhattan Club NYC, 1865 to 1890, in the old Charles Maverick Parker mansion, SW corner Fifth Ave. and W. Fifteenth Street. 


Hell's Kitchen New York - Eleventh Avenue and 54th Street - circa 1920

Steam engine on Eleventh Avenue, running through one of the most crowded neighborhoods in the city. (Milstein Division of United States History, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations)


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Social Chit Chat Between Competing NY Society Swans Mrs. Charles Maverick Parker to Mrs. Richard K. Haight…Fantasy Society Game - 1855

Woman’s Record; Sketches of all Distinguished Women – NY 1853
(Original Copyright Expired)

Social chit chat between competing New York Society Swans Mrs. Charles Maverick Parker (Cornelia Vanderburgh Parker) to Mrs. R. K. Haight (Sarah Rogers Haight) …overheard by some at the recent January 17, 1855 "Ladies' Ball for the Relief of the Poor"… being screamed above the music between adjoining boxes at the Academy of Music – “I am queen of New York society dearie...” “But I am the pretty one Cornelia…”


James V. Parker 1830-1917 – Will Contested

James V. Parker (1830-1917), member of the once exclusive Mrs. William B Astor’s society “400”, son of Charles Maverick Parker and Cornelia Vanderburgh Parker, New York’s early 1850s society’s “Mrs. Charles Parker” in her mansion 96 Fifth Ave at Fourteenth Street, later home of the Manhattan Club 1865-1890, his will is being contested per below link:


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Benkard Mansion - SW Cor. 5th Ave and W 15th Street NYC - 1865

(Image above) The Benkard Mansion, Later the Manhattan Club House. S.W. Cor. Fifth Ave. and 15th Street - 1865 - Watercolor by Abraham Hosier  - From the Collections of the Museum of the City of New York -

This is a companion image from the building in the 1850s that Mrs. Charles Parker ran society from, a generation before the so-called “The” Mrs. Astor of the 1880s and 1890s and her list of “400”. 

Supposedly it was this building in Brownstone that made that building material the desired sheathing for all future upper middle class and rich gilded age New Yorkers.

In their day, Mrs. Charles Parker on the SW corner of 5th Ave and 15th Street was a competing society swan with Mrs. R. K. Haight in the Haight mansion opposite on the SE corner of 5th Ave and 15th Street.

Also home of the Manhattan Club from 1865 to 1890.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Kensington Hotel 1901, Formerly Haight House Apartments (French Plan) 1870, formerly New-York Club, Formerly Private Residences, NYC

Advertisement - 1901
(Original Copyright Expired)

Kensington Hotel 1901, formerly Haight House Apartments (French Plan) 1870, formerly New-York Club, formerly Private Residences, Southeast Corner Fifth Avenue and E. Fifteenth Street, NYC

Hotel Kensington, Fifth Ave. near Washington Square – Photo by Byron Company (New York, N,Y,) – 1904 - From the Collections of the Museum of the City of New York,-Fifth-Ave.-near-Washington-Square.-2F3XC53THVN.html


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Monday, April 7, 2014

Joseph A. Gavagan 1892-1968 - U.S. Congress - Justice State Supreme Court

Joseph A. Gavagan

JosephA. Gavagan 

However, his main thrust was trying to pass his Anti-Lynching law. Having grown up in New York's Hell's Kitchen, he saw not only the discrimination in the city against the Irish, but the horrible way that Blacks were treated. He spent his entire time in Congress attempting to convince his fellow members that there was something simply wrong that a mob could control the law. 

His bill was never passed because Claude Pepper, J. William Fulbright and the other Southern Congressman were able to block it. Pepper, in his later years, as the guardian of the elderly, admitted his one regret was that he voted against the Gavagan Anti-Lynching Law.

                                                                              Patrick Burns/The New York Times 
Vincent R. Impellitteri, right, at his swearing in as the mayor of New York City by Justice Joseph A. Gavagan of State Supreme Court in November 1950.

(Impellitteri, briefly a former law clerk and secretary to Justice Gavagan)


Philip Gengembre Hubert – Patent – Solar Hot Water Heater - 1901

Not certain if this works on gravity and water pressure or if “plates” mentioned are metal or glass.

In practice I have succeeded in heating the water in the tank to 144 Fahrenheit, and it has fallen by 10 Fahrenheit during the night.

The heater is simple, effective, and may be furnished at-a comparatively slight cost.

It is obvious that slight changes might be resorted to in the form and arrangement of the several parts without departing from the spirit and scope of my invention. Hence I do not wish to limit myself strictly to the structure herein shown and described; but

What I claim is - A solar heater comprising a broad thin heating-chamber having its top and bottom plates so spaced as to spread the water there in into a thin film, thereby causing the entire amount of water to come into close proximity to the one or the other of the plates, a tank, a pipe leading from the lower portion of the tank to the heating-chamber, a pipe leading from the heating-chamber to the upper portion of the

packed as to liquid in the tank, and a draw-off pipe connected-with the pipe leading from the heating-chamber to the-tank,- the said pipe leading from the heating-chamber to the tank being provided with a swing-section supported by a float within the tank.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Diamond Jim Brady - Cartoon - The World February 29, 1908

Diamond Jim Brady - Cartoon - The World February 29, 1908


1895 Electric Brougham – First Automobile in NYC – Diamond Jim Brady

The vehicle was a custom built electric brougham  manufactured by A. H. Woods of Chicago. The automobile arrived accompanied by a mechanic named William Johnson—an African American man who knew how to run it and fix it. Brady immediately hired Johnson away from Woods, dressed him in a bottle-green uniform and gave him the title of chauffeur.

Brady had Johnson drive him around the city on five consecutive mornings between three and four o’clock, when no one was watching, so he could be confident that the automobile would not break down. Then he alerted the press before debuting his horseless carriage in the daylight. On a Saturday afternoon in the spring of 1895, William Johnson in his uniform and Diamond Jim Brady in a top hat, drove down Fifth Avenue to Madison Square. 

Crowds gathered along the way to view the spectacle and cheer them on. The new machine delighted the spectators, but horses on the road were much less welcoming. When the brougham reached the busy thoroughfare of Forty-Second Street at least five teams of horses bolted in surprise and ran away. After several trips around Madison Square they stopped at the Hoffman House and Diamond Jim went inside and ordered a lemon soda at the bar (he did not drink alcohol.)

The trip had caused so much disruption that the New York City Police Department ordered Brady not to bring the contraption out again during the day. This prohibition was short lived; within a year automobiles powered by gasoline as well as electricity were a common sight in New York City.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Undertaker’s Gate – Servant’s Entrance – Dakota House – 72nd Street and Central Park West – NYC – Urban Legend

Servant's Entrance - "Undertaker's Gate" - Dakota House NYC

Of some of the lovely ghosts that call the Dakota House Apartments in New York City their home, I find the one that John Lennon is haunting the most time locked back gate – Original Servant’s Entrance 1884 – to be the place John is taking a smoke outside in the New York hot and or cold along with the seasons, to be rather far fetched.

As urban legends go, I see the same language in at least a dozen blogs and news articles about this alleged backdoor entrance hangout for the late great John Lennon.

If anything, the management and the co-op board want the tourists to keep away from the front door/gate and hang out at a locked gate in back away from that main entrance on Seventy-Second street.



Main Entrance - 72nd Street


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Fragment of Old St. Bartholomew’s Church – Great Jones Street and Lafayette Street New York City

                                                                                                                                                                         Google Street Maps

I absolutely loathe the Byzantine style church outside and inside, a wanna be Episcopal Cathedral, at 50th Street and Park Ave. NYC.

But that is my taste.

The original congregation began at a humble site in the East Village at Great Jones Street and Lafayette Place 1835.

Over the years, taking the old “6” MTA bus north, I often noticed the fragment of church building amongst the industrial buildings of the area.

After some research I believe the building fragment above is a piece of the original old St. Bart’s.

It is not unusual for buildings to be sold and chopped up and standing after their so-called demise. I believe that pieces of the original Columbia main college hall on Murray Street survived the selling of the building. Evidence of the size of lots on Murray Street suggest that fragments of the original building stood on their own, along supporting wall lines and subsequent lot lines, after the building’s so-called demise. Recycling was a virtue in olden days.

The building of the church there on Great Jones Street and Lafayette is no doubt the reason retired merchant Seabury Tredwell bought a house on the next street on East Fourth Street.  Tredwell was one of the founding members of the St. Bartholomew Church. His house, the Merchant’s House is now a museum. His daughter Gertrude lived there for 93 years from birth to death. Gertrude is part of New York City urban legends in that she is said to be the inspiration for the novel Washington Square by author Henry James, adapted several times into cinema. Story is that Gertrude fell in love with a Catholic doctor and her father refused permission for a such a union and mixed marriage, not to say compromise of his standing in his Episcopal congregation.

The original building of the Church of St. Bartholomew (Episcopal) at Great Jones Street and Lafayette Place, New York City, erected in 1836

3/15/14 Item still under research and not anything definitive at this time. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

7 West 46th Street New York City - Former Residence of Diamond Jim Brady - Urban Legend

7 West 46th Street NYC - Google Maps

Many, many, years ago I passed this building and there was a plaque next to the front door that “Diamond Jim Brady” had lived here. The main floor shortly thereafter was turned into a Japanese Restaurant and the plaque disappeared somewhere along the way. I think also that the present fa├žade is colored faux-stone designed stucco and not the original brownstone.

It is amazing sometimes the buildings that manage to survive in NYC.

Source of above text image -

3/15/14 Been informed by reliable source that DJB never lived here. A genuine but false urban legend. -- MM