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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Where the New World Trade Center Stands Now

  This photograph comes from the New York Public Library Archive and is probably from 6/1/37 at Greenwich and Courtland Streets in Manhattan.  The New York Public Library has a nice digital archive for New York City and this photo comes up when you click a dot that is located near the footprint of the former World Trade Center.  Lower Manhattan for centuries was made up of narrow streets and small blocks with multi-story buildings.  Under urban renewal, the old streets and buildings we redeveloped into what is called "super blocks".  It is hard to believe that nothing in this photo exists today.  In the 1930's, streetcars in Manhattan started to be converted to bus and to make work, the Work Progress Administration started to remove the trolley tracks. Notice the conduit track which is typical for Manhattan street railways.  The Ninth Avenue Elevated probably stopped service a few years later on 6-1-40.  The new Eight Avenue subway, opened nearby in the early 1930's, with stations in the area at Broadway-Nassau (Fulton Street), Chambers Street (at Church Street) and Hudson Terminal (on Church Street near the present site of the World Trade Center at Vesey Street. the northern border of the former World Trade Center.  The IRT 7th Avenue Line passes directly through the site at Greenwich Street, I believe the same street shown above.  Many parts of New York City do not look like what existed 70 years ago and I think everything in the picture does not exist now.  I believe that the area used to be called "radio row" because of all the electronics shops that existed then.  The area called TRIBECA, which is on the west side of Manhattan above Chambers Street is very fashionable now but as late as of the 1960's, that area has a lot of lofts and the shoe industry was located there.

  The next photo comes from the same archive and is dated  7/1/33 by P.L. Sperr.  It is a the intersection of Fulton and Greenwich Streets and is facing west towards the Hudson River.
From this photo, you can see that Greenwich Street had the Ninth Avenue  El and the IRT 7th Avenue Broadway line as well  (see the subway entrance with the two globes).  This intersection is well within the WTC present complex and does not exist today.

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