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Corolyn Faville Ober.

Manhattan: historic and artistic; a six day tour of New York city; online

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lyn side — and two roadways for vehicles.
The floor of the bridge at its greatest height
is one hundred and thirty-five feet above
high-water mark, but full-rigged ships have
to strike their topgallant masts to pass un-
der unimpeded. The height above water
of the supporting towers is two hundred and
seventy-two feet. The bridge was opened in
the summer of 1883, having been constructed
at a cost of fifteen millions of dollars. A ride
over the railway to Brooklyn, returning by
way of the promenade, will afford the best
views of the bridge, the East River, and the
Bay.

Lower Broadway. — The yellow surface
cars that pass the City Hall Park at the west
furnish the best means of viewing Broadway
from this point to 14th Street.

The white marble building at the Chambers
Street corner, formerly was A. T. Stewart's



38 MANHA TTAN.

wholesale dry-goods store, but is now remod-
elled for offices. The site originally was used
as a negro burial-ground. Two blocks further
north Duane Street marks the site of the old
New York City Hospital, built in 1775, and
surrounded by five acres of ground containing
magnificent elms. The Ionic Building at
Leonard Street belongs to the New York Life
Insurance Company. At this place Contoit's
Garden used to call together the fashionable
people, young and old, to enjoy its cool shade,
and partake of its ices and lemonades. The
magnificent building of the Globe Mutual Life
Insurance Company is directly opposite.

Canal Street, so called because a canal
which formed an outlet for the w^aters of Col-
lect Pond once ran through it to the Hudson
River, is a little further north. Sidewalks
and roadways were on each side of the water, —
which explains the width of the street, — and a
stone bridge crossed it at Broadway. When
the canal was filled in this bridge was left in-
tact, and still remains imbedded under the
pavement.

The Board of Education occupies a
building at the right of Broadway, in Grand
Street, No. 146.

NiBLO's Garden Tpieatre, at the Prince
Street corner, is very spacious and pleasing,



MANHATTAN. 39

the stage usually being devoted to spectacular
plays. Both the theatre and the adjoining
Metropolitan Hotel belong to the estate of the
late A. T. Stewart.

Richmond Hill, the delightful country
seat where General and Mrs. Washington were
quartered during the eventful summer of 1776,
was situated west of this, near the Hudson.
Afterward, when it was the home of the first
vice-president, Mrs. Adams wrote of it: "In
natural beauty it might vie with the most de-
licious spot I ever saw." It was the residence
of Aaron Burr at the time of his duel with
Hamilton, but was soon after sold to John Jacob
Astor, who converted it into a public resort.

The Central Police Station is the next
point of interest near which the car passes.
It is situated in Mulberry Street, two blocks
east of Broadway, and one-half block north
of Houston Street. In it is exhibited the
"Rogues' Gallery," a collection of more than
a thousand photographs of notorious criminals.
The police force of the city consists of three
thousand, two hundred men. There are thirty-
five precincts, — one of which includes the har-
bor, — each under the command of a captain and
sergeants. Each precinct has a building for
the accommodation of policemen and homeless
individuals.



40 MANHA TTAN.

A City Shop. — No visit to the city would
be complete without inspecting' some of the
leading shops, and probably none of them
have so many interesting associations as the
extensive dry-goods house which occupies the
entire block between 9th and loth Streets, in
Broadway. This is now known by the firm
name of Hilton, Hughes & Denning, but it
was A.T.Stewart who secured for the estab-
lishment its notoriety. There has been no
especial change in the interior since the death
of the founder, except that which is demanded
by changing fashions. In the well-lighted
rotunda, with its elaborate decoration of stucco
work, just as rich fabrics are displayed, and
each of the different departments is as com-
plete as when under the rule of the merchant
who made himself a prince and his place of
business a palace.

Below stairs are ceramics, bric-a-brac, and
household goods. The main floor is occupied
with dry-goods, while the floors above contain
carpets, artistic furniture, and reception rooms.
The unique feature of this shop at present is
its display of the statuary which formerly
adorned the home of Mr. Stewart. While a
promiscuous pile of dry-goods is not the best
background for these gems of sculptured art,
it certainly is a privilege to see them.



MA Nil A TTAN. 4 1

The statue of Proserpine, Marshall Wood,
sculptor, is near Broadway, at the 9th Street
side. "The Bather," by Tantardine, is near
the 9th Street elevator. An exquisite concep-
tion of Sappho, by Crawford, faces the rotunda
near by. A much less effective piece of Craw-
ford's work is the " Flora " which stands in the
9th Street and Fourth Avenue corner. A fine
bust of Washington, by Hiram Powers, faces
the rotunda at the Fourth Avenue side, and
near the loth Street staircase is Harriet Hos-
mer's noble rendering of " Zenobia in Chains."
A most interesting study of Demosthenes, by
Crawford, is placed near the loth Street ele-
vator. "Paul and Virginia," by Joseph Dun-
ham, and John Randolph Rogers' "Blind
Nydia Fleeing from Pompeii" are close by,
completing the list, with the exception of a
" Fisher Girl" by Tadolini, which stands in a
reception room upstairs. The one object
missing from the valuable collection is Hiram
Powers' " Greek Slave."

The Studio Building in West loth Street,
near Sixth Avenue, has for many years been
the home of our most celebrated artists. Near
by is the Jefferson Market court and prison,
an irregular but unique and handsome struct-
ure, built of red brick and sandstone, in the
Italian Gothic style. Adjoining this is Jeffer-



42 MANHATTAN.

son Market, a brick structure richly orna-
mented with terra-cotta.

Grace Church. — In Broadway, north of
Denning 's, stands Grace Church, which, with
the edifices attached, is built of white lime-
stone, in chaste, fourteenth century Gothic
style, forming one of the most beautiful archi-
tectural effects in the city. The rectory is
connected with the church by a clergy-house,
which contains a library and reading-room
open to church members. In the grounds is
a colossal terra-cotta jar that was found forty
feet below the surface in Rome. The small
building at the south of the church is the
chantry, in which daily services are held.
This, with the chancel, and two organs con-
nected by electrical machinery, are gifts from
Miss Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, the chancel
having been erected as a memorial to her
father. The tower contains a fine set of
chimes. Back of the church, in Fourth Ave-
nue, is a day-nursery for the reception of
young children during the hours when their
mothers are at work. This is known as Grace
Memorial Home, and was erected by Vice-
President Levi P. Morton as a tribute to his
wife.

Grace Church was founded in 1805, its first
building occupying the corner of Broadway



MANHA TTAN. 43

and Rector Street. The present structure was
built in 1846. Next to Trinity, Grace is the
wealthiest Episcopal church corporation in the
city.

The Star Theatre, at the corner of 13th
Street, was built in 1862, and shortly afterward
came under the able management of Lester
Wallack, who for twenty years associated its
boards with all that is best in legitimate com-
edy. The management changed when Wal-
lack 's new theatre was opened, but the place
retains its prestige, and good plays are always
presented.



CHAPTER III.

THE SECOND MORNING.

"After the Hunt," by W.M.Harnett. —
A remarkable painting on exhibition at No. 8
Warren Street, represents an old barn door on
which hang implements of the chase and tro-
phies of a hunt. Probably nothing more real-
istic ever has been seen on canvas than these
panels, so marvellously like wood, in which a
cunningly wrought nail-hole deceives the most
practised eye. The glint of brass surrounding
the lock, the sheen of the mother-of-pearl on
the stock of the old gun, and the metal and
old cracked bone in the hilt of the sword, decoy
nearly every one into emphatic assertions that
the work is inlaid and not painted. The
drawing in this picture is exceptionally fine.
A battle scene in the Franco- Prussian war,
and "The Quarrel," by Meissonier, are in the
collection of paintings here exhibited. Al-
though these pictures are in a saloon, ladies
are frequent visitors between the hours of
eight and eleven a.m.

44



MANHA TTAN. 45

The Staats Zeitung Building, over the
portals of which stand life-size bronze statues
of Franklin and Gutenberg-, is across the park,
at the junction of Park Row and Centre Street.
This, in the old days, was the starting point
of the Boston Road.

Chatham Street. — From the Staats Zei-
tung Building to Chatham Square, Park Row,
formerly called Chatham Street, has long been
inhabited by Jews who deal in cheap clothing.
The Newsboys' Lodging-house is east of Park
Row, in the first street which crosses it. From
one room in a private house in this vicinity
the first post-office distributed mail to the city.
At the right, in Madison Street, near Pearl
Street, the first public school opened in 1805,
with forty pupils, De Witt Clinton and the
Society of Friends having been instrumental
in projecting a work which is now expanded
until it comprises three hundred schools and a
free college under a municipal Board of Educa-
tion. At the northwestern corner of Park Row
and Baxter Street the famous Tea-water Pump
-was situated, — a remarkable spring from which
fourteen thousand and three hundred gallons
of pure w^ater were daily drawn, and sold about
town for one penny a gallon.

Chatham Square, which is but two blocks
from Baxter Street, was formerly the burial-



46 MANHA TTAN.

ground of the Jews. Just beyond were the
British intrenchments, in which dead bodies
of American prisoners were indiscriminately
thrown without rites of sepulture.

The Five Points. — At the west, Worth
Street leads by Mulberry and Baxter Streets,
where are teeming masses of the lowest grades
of humanity. The junction which is formed
by Baxter with other streets is called "The
Five Points, " — a locality long celebrated for the
criminal character of its population, but now
reclaimed, through the efforts of devoted mis-
sionaries, until its dangerous elements have
nearly disappeared. Italians, Chinese, beg-
gars, boot-blacks, opium-peddlers, etc., live in
the vicinity now, but criminals are rare. An
old brewery, which once sheltered the very
worst characters and was associated with the
most appalling crimes, is no more, and the
low dens that still are to be found in the nar-
row streets near by will rapidly be obliterated
by the business houses that continually are
encroaching. A visit to one of the missions
at least should not be omitted.

The Five Points "House of Industry,"
founded in 1850, has since that time received
over twenty thousand inmates and furnished
instruction to forty thousand children. Ga-
mijis from the neighborhood, as well as those



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Online LibraryCorolyn Faville OberManhattan: historic and artistic; a six day tour of New York city; → online text (page 3 of 12)