These vintage photos of the Bronx lend to its storied history, far before the days of the “Burning Bronx.” As New York City passed London for the most populous urban area in the world, growing by almost 25% from 1920 into the 1930s, the country entered the Great Depression. Bronx County was experiencing a demographic shift as middle to upper income families moved to the north and east of the borough, while Hispanic and African American populations displaced its predominantly Jewish residents in the south and west.
The New York Yankees still played in the old Yankee Stadium–”The House that Ruth Built,” predecessor to the current building on 161st Street–winning a total of nine World Championships in the 30s and 40s.
A popular landmark in the Bronx, Edgar Allen Poe Cottage, stood (and still stands) uninhabited after the death of the writer in the 19th century.
Westchester Avenue (pictured above) had much more open air, before the elevated 6 train and Robert Moses’ expressways that criss-cross through this area today.
Another of Robert Moses’ creations that changed the Bronx into what it is today is the Triboro Bridge. Its construction began in the 1930s, with a grim outlook as you can imagine (recall, Great Depression). Today it connects the Bronx to its East River neighbors (Manhattan, Queens, Randall’s Island, Ward’s Island) to the tune of approximately 200,000 vehicles per day.
Stay tuned as we “untap” more history of the Bronx and other parts of the City with our Vintage Photo column. You can also see these and other photos from around the Tristate Area at Andy Blair’s Flickr page.