4. The Old Madison Square Gardens

Madison Square Garden hippodrome
The first Madison Square Garden, which began as P.T. Barnum’s Hippodrome. Image via Wikimedia Commons

Collectively, the older versions of Madison Square Garden came next. There were votes for the first two versions starting from P.T. Barnum’s Great Roman Hippodrome which was standing from 1874 to 1890. It was renamed Madison Square Garden in 1879 when the William K. Vanderbilt became the operator.

Madison Square Garden Stanford White
The second Madison Square Garden. Photo from Library of Congress

Stanford White designed the next iteration of Madison Square Garden, employing a Moorish architectural style. It was here that White had one of his apartments for the purpose of seduce young women and where he met his untimely end in 1906, shot in the head on the rooftop garden by the jealous husband of White’s former paramour, Evelyn Nesbit. This version of Madison Square Garden would be demolished in 1925 after which it moved to the West Side, keeping the Madison Square name. Rediscover the Madison Square Gardens we’ve lost in an upcoming episode of our virtual series, Lost New York!