Monday, September 28, 2009

Now and then: Bowery and First Street

Bowery at East First Street looking south toward Houston

Late 1970s...



Today...



Top photo reprinted with permission from Randall's Lost New York City Collection

11 comments:

NYCDreamin said...

I would love to know what was going on at the time in those buildings in the top photo...the mind swims with possibilities.

EV Grieve said...

Im with you, NYCD...

Goggla said...

I had started to do a little photo project a while back - documenting this corner/block over the years because it's changed so much. At one point, I'd linked to a 1914 or 1911 photo on Shorpy's website, but now I can't find it...it showed Suicide Hall and a hotel/pub with suited men in hats standing on the sidewalk in the shadow of the elevated train. I can't believe how 100 years of history were wiped out with one stomp of the glass box beast...

Anonymous said...

I have an out of print paper back from the early 70's about pimps and prostitutes on the Bowery. Also the Hell's Angels. One Chapter talks about a prostitute named "Suction Cup Mary" who lived on Bowery and 1st. She charged a few dollars and was aging. The "Pimp" was a 70 something year old former sailor. His name was "Sailor Jack" or something like that. It's amazing how this was the early 70's on this same street, a low life hell hole with scumbag people everywhere.

Today, It's hard to find a real hell hole.

NYCDreamin said...

Ah, so the 5-story red-brick was McGurk's? I didn't reconginze it - thanks Goggla!

Here is another view of that corner when the Suicide Hall was still standing there...

http://gammablog.com/gammablablog/im05/02feb/06/suicide-pano300.jpg

Goggla said...

Yeah, McGurk's...I have a few pics here that were taken just before the demolition:

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=suicide&w=24771397%40N00

Forgotten NY also has a good piece on it:

http://www.forgotten-ny.com/STREET%20SCENES/bowery/bowery.html

everettsville said...

Goggla, I think this is the 1914 shot:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/40045986@N00/3544114921/

NYPL has a shot that shows the base of the building(s) on that corner, including McGurk's.

http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&strucID=406576&imageID=716778F&total=6&num=0&word=bowery%20%221st%20street%22&s=1&notword=&d=&c=&f=&k=0&lWord=&lField=&sScope=&sLevel=&sLabel=&imgs=20&pos=2&e=w

(wow, long link...hope it works)

I posted a few shots of this block from 2002 as well here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/38222723@N06/sets/72157621934247507/

EV Grieve said...

Thanks for the links, everyone. Wow, I completely missed that this corner was McGurk's. Should have been noted in my original post!

Anonymous said...

Here's 2 more shots of that corner from 1942 - can't remember where I got them from though:

Southeast corner -
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tampackman/3969674707/sizes/o/

Northeast corner -
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tampackman/3969674703/sizes/o/

Goggla said...

Wow, the SE shot is amazing - unrecognizable!

Richard said...

That a great area. I have been looking near there for good nyc apartments.