12. Bryant Park and the Sixth Avenue Elevated

“In Bryant Park.” Electrical New York (1916)

Bailey’s 1916 Bryant Park sketch contains both the familiar and unfamiliar. The park does not look so different today and in the distance is the Hotel Knickerbocker, located at Broadway and West 42nd Street, which earlier this year began operating as a hotel again after it was converted to office use in 1920s.

To the right of the Hotel Knickerbocker is the New York Times Tower, which still stands and hosts the New Years’ Eve ball drop. However, the Times Tower has been massively altered from its original condition. In any event, neither the Knickerbocker nor the Times Tower can be viewed from Bryant Park, due to larger and taller buildings that replaced the low-rise buildings on Sixth Avenue facing the park.

The Sixth Avenue Elevated has been gone since the late 1930s. The Sixth Avenue subway provides the same function without the El’s visual and audible intrusions on the park.