"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Where & When: Game 19

Good grief, welcome back to another round of Where & When,  where conversation and controversy flourish continually.  Or at least since the last game, where we had a little controversy about the actual location and date.  Nevertheless, it served a purpose and we all remain friends, ready to jump all over each other on the next challenge… I mean, jump all over the next challenge

Where & When Game 19

This is yet another picture I like a lot; something about the imposing aesthetic and the antiquity it represents.  This photo was undated by my source, but I’m sure a few of our clever participants will be able to round up, if not find the exact year or date this picture was taken.  Lots of clues to go by in that regard, so take your best shot. Some of you probably see this on a regular basis, but have not seen it in this manner for a long time, if ever.

A stein of Brigham’s Brew for the lucky number one who gets the name of the building in the background (when the picture was taken, important distinction) and the name of the street in the foreground along with an approximate date, and a cold bottle of Faygo for the rest who have similar responses. Bonus if you know what the building is called now and who owns it. I wonder if you know I’m keeping score somehow… anyway, enjoy; leave your responses in the comments and don’t peek at the photo credit.  Happy Hunting!

[Photo Credit: Wired New York]


1 RIYank   ~  Nov 18, 2013 9:12 am

Hah! This is the easiest one yet for me. I actually did see this scene (with another prominent object, that wasn't built when this picture was taken) most days of my life, when I was growing up.

We're movin' on up
to the East Side!

The picture is from 1950. I've found a copy (which is easy to do when you know the building's name) with a date on it. This one.

2 RIYank   ~  Nov 18, 2013 9:20 am

Hm, I'm not 100% sure what it was called in 1950. The building has had three names. I hinted at the current name [1], but it didn't have that name in 1950. Just not sure. I know in a general way but there is a central issue I have not resolved.

3 rbj   ~  Nov 18, 2013 9:39 am

Have the where, as to the when. . . looks post WWII

4 Bronx Boy in NC   ~  Nov 18, 2013 10:11 am

That's the Helmsley Building as seen looking south from Park Avenue somewhere in the 50s (streets, not decade).

There's no sign of the Pan Am building, so we're pre-1958, and none of those cabs appears to be 'classic' Checker A8s, so we're pre-1956. There seems to be some pre-war sheet metal out there, so I can't contradict the earlier guesses of about 1950. And the trees make me think springtime.

Someone over at forgotten-ny.com could probably have a field day with the streetlamps. Tough to work on the buildings lining the avenue, thanks to what appears to be some telephoto compression. No sign of Lever House but I think our vantage point is too far south for that.

5 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  Nov 18, 2013 10:26 am

Actually figured this one out (tough, since I didn't live in Manhatten, and left NY in '68). But I do remember when it was replaced by the "new" building named after that defunct airline. Year? somehwere in the early 50's.

6 TheGreenMan   ~  Nov 18, 2013 11:30 am

[2] Clever. I couldn't find the date that one became the other either.

7 TheGreenMan   ~  Nov 18, 2013 11:34 am

The current owner is listed as Goldman Sachs on Wiki, but I'm sure if that is up-to-date.

8 TheGreenMan   ~  Nov 18, 2013 11:36 am

And, interestingly, per the agreement with the building's namesake the name of the building will never be re-named through any subsequent sale. So Leona will live forever! Ahem...

9 Bronx Boy in NC   ~  Nov 18, 2013 2:11 pm

[5] Not replaced - just cruelly overshadowed.

10 rbj   ~  Nov 18, 2013 2:58 pm

Not finding the photo anywhere, I'll go with 1950.

11 RIYank   ~  Nov 18, 2013 4:00 pm

[10] It's on this page. I mean, that's not where Will found it, but that page does give a date.

12 rbj   ~  Nov 18, 2013 4:27 pm

[11] Thanks. Only off by a couple of years.

13 Chyll Will   ~  Nov 18, 2013 6:39 pm

[11] Nice! I knew the date had to be somewhere. It's still a very opulent building on the exterior, but I've never been inside yet. I like that the Terminal City plan worked out, though throwing a big modernist shoebox between two classical styles was probably not part of it. I also find it interesting that Donald Trump and Grand Hyatt Hotel decided to cover the Commodore Hotel with a golden erector set and cheese wrap. To each their own?

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