Robert Paton, General School and Church Furnisher, 26 Grove Street, N.Y.
35th St. Looking North on Broadway. Excavations may be for trolley tracks, possibly water mains.
Aug. 19, 1888. New Manhattan Bridge from High Bridge showing East end. This is actually the Washington Bridge, an arch bridge which crosses the Harlem River. It opened Dec. 1, 1888.
Note on verso by collector Robert Vogel: “Brooklyn Bridge towers-partially completed in background, shot tower to right. NYC ca. 1873.”
No. 163. Fulton Street Bridge. Written in left and right margins is “Bridge at Fulton St. NY, has been taken down.” Here is the story of the short life of this bridge: There was awful gridlock on Broadway in the 1860s with two-way traffic, no marked lanes and no lights. “It is always a difficult matter for a pedestrian to cross the lower part of Broadway in the busy season. Ladies, old persons, and children find it impossible to do so without the aid of police, whose duty it is to make a passage for them through the crowd of vehicles.” To make this stretch of Broadway safer for pedestrians—and of course, encourage more foot traffic to his shop—a well-known hatter named John Genin, whose store sat on the southwest corner of Broadway and Fulton Street, pressured the city to build a crossing steps from his door. He’d dreamed of a footbridge here since the 1850s and drew up designs too. In 1866, the fanciful Loew Bridge, named after city politico Charles Loew, opened. New Yorkers used the lacy, elegant bridge to get across the street as well as take in the view. Genin must have been happy. But another hatter on the northeast corner of Broadway and Fulton, Charles Knox, was not. Shadows cast by the bridge put Knox’s shop in darkness, and he was convinced he was losing sales. He and a group of hatters from his side of Broadway sued the city, forcing city officials to tear it down. Loew Bridge only lasted a year, undone by a fierce business rivalry in an industry that barely exists in the New York of today.