Wednesday, March 25, 2009

When Manhattan had white picket fences

From Gothamist:

This daguerreotype by an unidentified photographer, likely taken in October 1848, can be yours for $70,000, give or take a few grand—at least, that's how much it's expected to go for when Sotheby's auctions it off on Monday. The image depicts a country estate somewhere around the equivalent of today's Upper West Side near Bloomingdale Road, 'a continuation of Broadway' which, after 60th Street, wound northwestward through farmland by the Hudson River.

6 comments:

Hell Gate Kid said...

A few minutes of research in the 'Blue Book' showing the estates in Manhattan before development should narrow this down to a few locations, if not one. My guess: between West 80 - West 100 Streets.

A number of images exist of rural and suburban Manhattan at NY Historical Society and the NY Public Libary though none of this age.

That being said, I seriously doubt they would get anything near the $70,000 for this.

Would love to see the other images for sale. What a gem!

georgetheatheist said...

Around 30 years ago, Ansel Adams' "Moonrise Over Hernandez, New Mexico" held the record for the biggest sale at a photo auction: $72,000.00. Any info on the current photo auction ($$$) record?

georgetheatheist said...

Hey Hell Gate Kid. It seems there's a widow's walk on the house's roof. Would that narrow it down? The only other houses I can think of with widow's walks on them are found near the Promenade in Brooklyn Heights.

Hell Gate Kid said...

Broadway hardly went to W 106 Street (what we call B'way today was then 11th Ave)

If we assume that the sunken road in the foreground is Broadway, and the view looks west, then there are only two places that a hill stood between Broadway and the Hudson: W 59 - 62 Street and W 74 - 77 Street.

Now at West 76th Street was the Somerindyke Mansion, which lasted, expanded, until at least 1870s.

Sources: Bromley, Viele, 'Blue Book'

Time: 30 minutes

I like all the references the auction house used. Nothing helpful, but impressive nontheless.

Anonymous said...

Surprised Landmarks West did not track that down.

Anonymous said...

Naw, they are still sore over 2 Columbus Circle.