1940’s New York: Cityscapes

October 29, 2008 by
Filed under: Area 51 

I realize it has been a while since I have hit you with some great pix from the New York City of old. So today (while waiting for the landlord to turn the damned heat on) I decided to share a handful of images hailing from Manhattan. Enjoy!

On a lark I googled the name of this club. Turns out it was located on 52nd Street and was quite a famous jazz venue in the 1940’s. Here’s what Miles Davis had to say in his biography:

But 52nd street was something else when is was happening. It would be crowded with people, and the clubs were no bigger than apartment living rooms. They were so small and jam-packed. The clubs were right next to each other and across the street from one another. The Three Deuces was across form the Onyk and then across from there was a Dixieland club. Man going in there was like going to Tupelo, Mississippi. It was full of white racists. The Onyx, Jimmy Ryan’s club, could be real racist, too. But on the other side of the street, next to the Three Deuces, was the Downbeat Club and next to that was Clark Monroe’s Uptown House. So you had all these clubs right next to each other featuring people like Erroll Garner, Sidney Bechet, Oran “Hot Lips” Page, Earl Bostic every night. Then there would be jazz going on at other clubs. That scene was powerful. I don’t think we will ever see any shit like that ever again.

Not too sure where this located but I found the old storefronts a lot of fun. You can see a full size image by clicking here.

If you look carefully you’ll notice the store at the far left sells “movie star photos”!

Note the old ad for Bendix washing machines in the background.

Anyone know what this building is? I’ve been knocking my brain about trying to remember. It’s driving me nuts! Oh well.

At least I know where this photograph was taken. I hope you have enjoyed this sneak peek at New York City sixty years ago!

Miss Heather

P.S.: You can see larger versions of all the previous images on my flickr page.


5 Comments on 1940’s New York: Cityscapes

  1. nbenford on Wed, 29th Oct 2008 8:27 pm
  2. wow, great scans, Heather. that kid on the swing is hilarious. he’s loving life. now he’s in his 60s! …and hopefully still enjoying himself.

  3. Curvy Spice on Wed, 29th Oct 2008 11:46 pm
  4. For your street view photo– I googled Kismet Records and found a mention of it at 227 E.14th Street. It’s hard to tell from the google map street view if it matches up. But it looks like the numbers are in the 200’s on the photo. It has similar decorations above the windows. Just a total stab in the dark.

  5. AMOJA on Thu, 30th Oct 2008 9:27 am
  6. That’s some fine detective work there, Spice. The stonework around the windows looks close enough, but the sealing point is the doorways for apartment access to the apartments located above the hairdresser/barbershop and the cobbler/wineshop. The tiles above the doorway between the hairdresser and barbershop appear to still be there! It’s now between a wireless store and Union Square Partnership (maybe…it’s blurry). Also, I think we can all agree that the trees are a nice addition to the sidewalk.

  7. AMOJA on Thu, 30th Oct 2008 9:35 am
  8. Also, the store with “movie star photos” is next door to the florist in the photo above it. Google maps seems to confirm this, as the subway entrance certainly hasn’t moved. Sadly, Louis’ Restaurant seems to now be cleaners. I bet that “home cooking” was tasty.

  9. PeterPort on Sun, 2nd Nov 2008 5:18 pm
  10. That building is the old Tammany Hall on Chambers Street at the corner of Centre Street, right next to City Hall and across the street from the Emigrant Savings Bank.

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