October 1, 1942

Cushman returned to New York just over a year after his last series of shots taken in September 1941.

He would spend the next week in New York and venture into areas off of the beaten path to take some truly priceless color shots of the city — and the last shots he would take for nearly 20 years.

For his first series of shots on October 1st, he returned to the familiar surroundings of downtown around Battery Park and Bowling Green.  It also appears that he continued to focus on landmarks highlighted in the Guide (as he did with the shots he took in 1941).

New York’s Old Produce Exchange

The Now shot was taken on October 9, 2010.

His first shot was of the very distinguished looking building that housed New York’s Produce Exchange.  From the Guide (pgs. 66-67):

East of Bowling Green is the dark red -brick and terra cotta building of the New York Produce Exchange erected in 1881-82 from plans by George B. Post.  The design of the exterior building walls is derived from that of a Roman aqueduct: the arched openings, arranged in long orderly lines, double in number as they rise.  Inside, the produce brokers busy themselves trading and watching the quotation boards from the floor. … The Produce Exchange is the oldest incorporated exchange in the country, having been chartered in 1862 by special act of the State Legislature.  Its trading floor is the largest in the world, measuring 220 feet long and 144 feet wide, and 60 feet to the skylight.

The Produce Exchange was demolished in 1957 for reasons I have yet to discover.  What a pity.

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Canyon of Broadway

The Now shot was taken on October 3, 2010.

Although the buildings in this area of Manhattan remain virtually unchanged from 1942, one thing is significantly different.  The heavy volume of tourists.  This shot was taken from an area dense with tourists and the souvenier stands that litter the area.  This made it extremely difficult to capture the  unobstructed view that Cushman had.  (Cushman was actually off on labeling the order of the shots he took this day.  The shot below was taken well after the shot after next based on the shadows — a mistake that would be easy to make given the cluster of shots he took in such a small area.)

For those not familiar with the City, this is a view up the “Canyon of Heroes”; this is the place where all of the storied ticker tape parades in New York City start — the most recent, I believe, being for the 2009 World Champion New York Yankees .  Bowling Green Park (where the trees are) can be seen in the background.

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Statue of de Peyster, Bowling Green

The Now shot was taken on October 9, 2010.

What happened to de Peyster?  From the Guide (pg. 66):

Standing at the foot of the deep sunless canyon of lower Broadway is Bowling Green, probably the city’s oldest public park.  Here, according to legend, astute Peter Minuit made the bargain that gave Manhattan to the white man.  In 1638-47 this oval spot was part of the hog and cattle market of Marcktveldt [Dutch for marketfield].  Later, it served as a parade ground for the Dutch militia.  The English fenced off the plot and in 1732 leased it to three citizens for use as a private bowling ground.  The rent was set at one peppercorn per year.  During the Revolution, the royal crowns once ornamenting the fence pickets disappeared.  A bronze Statue of Abraham de Peyster, merchant and one-time mayor of the city ( 1691-5), by George Bissell, has stood there since 1896.

According to the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation web site:

The De Peyster sculpture was originally placed in the center of nearby Bowling Green Park in 1896, at a site once occupied by a statue of King George III. Vandalism to the statue prompted the resetting of the sword in 1939, and an overall conservation effort in 1942 [the year Cushman took the shot above]. In 1972, park and subway renovations at Bowling Green forced removal of the statue. It was relocated four years later on a new pink granite pedestal (on which the original inscriptions were transcribed) in Hanover Square. In 1999, the sculpture was conserved by the City Parks Foundation Monuments Conservation Program, with funding from the Florence Gould Foundation, the American Express Company, and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

The sculpture has been removed from the park to accommodate the redesign of Hanover Square as the British Memorial Garden. It has been temporarily placed in storage until a new location has been determined for its reinstallation.

The Department’s web site was last updated on April 9, 2007.  Still no site of de Peyster.  Why the statue was relocated to begin with remains a mystery.  Today, a fountain occupies the spot where de Peyster once sat.  It seems unlikely to me that it will be put back there.  After all, why would it make any sense to return the statue to the place where it originally stood?

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West Side of Broadway from Bowling Green

The Now shot was taken on October 3, 2010.

This is another shot up Broadway that was taken from a spot a little further to the south.  As previously noted, one thing that has changed dramatically since the 1940s are the presence of tourists today.  Back in 1942 it looks like the only tourist in the vicinity of Cushman’s shots was Cushman.  Today, in tourist-dense areas such as the one below, they easily outnumber the New Yorkers walking the streets.  And on a nice day, such as when the Now shot was taken, it simply was not possible to get an unimpeded shot due to the steady stream of tour buses that stop at this spot.

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Standard Oil Building from Battery Park

The Now shot was taken on October 3, 2010.

From the Guide (pg. 67):

The Standard Oil Building, 26 Broadway, incorporates two structures of different age and height.  It is surmounted by a massive pyramidal tower, once one of the most imposing of the New York sky line.  A bust of the first John D. Rockefeller by Jo Davidson is on the left side of the corridor.  Crowds swarming through the building and along the street in the daytime are in the main unaware of its existence, but at night the lighting of the marble gives the bust a strange appearance, and people passing through the now deserted region often stop before the entrance and gaze curiously inside.

Every time I look at this shot the sailors walking through the area remind me that we were at war, and in the very early days of the War.  It had not yet been a year since Pearl Harbor.  Servicemen were the “tourists” back in 1942.

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View East from North End of Battery Park

The Now shot was taken on October 9, 2010.

This is just another shot of the Produce Exchange sans much of the greenery.

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de Peyster Sits for a Portrait

The Now shot was taken on October 3, 2010.  de Peyster sits elsewhere still.  I’m not really sure why I bothered to take it.

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Please click here to see the next series of shots taken on October 3rd.

Note: The Cushman shots have been reproduced on this site with the written consent of Indian University, which owns the Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection.

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1. Click here to see it Then and Now

Here is a view of the United States Secretariat as it appeared on July 11, 1960.

Click here to see other Then and Now shots from that day.  Note: The Cushman shots have been reproduced on this site with the written consent of Indiana University, which owns the Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection.

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A view west on 42nd Street and Broadway as it appeared on July 9, 1960.  Click here to see more Then and Now shots from that day.

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Here is Delmonico’s, at 56 Beaver Street, as it appeared on July 7, 1960.  Click here to see other Then and Now shots from that day.

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Peter Minuit Plaza as it appeared on July 5, 1960.  Click here to see more Then and Now shots from that day.

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A view of Pearl Street and Peck Slip as it appeared on October 7, 1942.  The oldest house (at the time) in Manhattan can barely be seen in this shot.  Click here to see more Then and Now shots from that day.

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A view of City Hall in the early morning as it appeared on October 6, 1942.  To see more Then and Now shots from that day please go to the October 6, 1942 page.

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A view of Second Avenue and 2nd Street as it appeared on October 4, 1942.  To see more Then and Now shots from that day please go to the October 4, 1942 page.

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Here is a view looking up Broadway from Battery Park as it appeared on October 1, 1942.  To see more Then and Now shots from that day please go to the October 1, 1942 page.

9. Click here to see It Then and Now

A view of Trinity Church as it appeared on October 3, 1942.  Click here to see more Then and Now shots from that day.

10. Click here to see It Then and Now

A view of Peck Slip as it appeared on September 27, 1941.  Click here to see more Then and Now shots from that day.

11. Click here to see It Then and Now

A view looking east on Wall Street as it appeared on June 6, 1941.  Trinity Church is in the background, the New York Stock Exchange is on the left, and a statute of George Washington in front of Federal Hall is on the right.  Click here to see more Then and Now shots from that day.