The Oldest Footage of New York City Is Absolutely Breathtaking

This astounding video is a compilation of the oldest and most incredible footage of New York City ever, including where the WTC would be built and the oldest surviving film clip of NYC.

If you ever wondered what the great city looked like around 1900, these clips will blow your mind!

The video has added maps carefully researched to show where the camera was. In total it features 28 shots of classic footage with a new twist and a new soundtrack.

Here’s the video:

The footage was taken between 1896 and 1905 and shows various identifiable places in New York City.

In order they are:

1. A Panorama from tthe Times Building – It starts at W. 42nd Street and 7th Avenue, goes up 6th Ave and ends at Times Square

2. The interior of a N.Y. Subway, travelling from 14th St. to 42nd St, ending at the Old Grand Central Station (Now called Grand Central Terminal).

3. The opening of New East River Bridge, New York, called Williamsburg Bridge, on the East River – features a parade including the mayor of NYC.

4. A policeman moves a fruit seller on at a fruit market somewhere on the lower East Side

5. The wind still howls at the Foot of The Flatiron, or Fuller Building, situated on Broadway and 23rd Street. This shot is on the Broadway side near the narrow north corner.

6. A parade at Washington Square Park (Greenwich Village) showing Washington Square Arch. The parade is of ‘exempt firemen’.

7. A panorama travelling along the shore of Blackwell’s Island, now known as Roosevelt Island. It shows Lighthouse Park and the Queensboro Bridge, with Manhattan in the far background.

8. This is one of the mosts amazing shots – taken from the Hudson River, it shows the skyscrapers of New York City looking toward the piers of Lower Manhattan. The location where the World Trade Center would stand years later is shown.

oldest-footage-of-new-york-wtc

9. The old New York Aquarium and Battery Park. The aquarium moved to Coney Island in 1957.

10. A Panorama of the Flatiron Building – the camera is facing south from Madison Square across Broadway, Fifth Avenue and 23rd St

oldest-footage-of-new-york-flatiron

11. A Parade of Horses on Harlem River Drive, on the West Bank of the Harlem River. It shows the old High Bridge at 175th Street and the Washington Bridge at 181st Street

12. This clip is looking north up Lower Broadway from Wall Street with the Trinity Churchyard Cemetery on the left.

13. This is a rather famous clip of 23rd Street, with the elevated EI in the background. The clip might even have been inspiration for Marilyn Monroe years later!

oldest-footage-of-new-york-23rd-street

14. A time-lapse of the demolition of the Star Theatre on 13th Street and Broadway.

15. Buffalo Bill is seen in this parade on Fifth Avenue

16. Ice skating in Central Park, a boy repeatedly falls over.

17. This clip shows Dewey Arch, which stood at Madison Square over 5th Avenue between 25th and 24th Streets. It was demolished in 1900.

18. One of the first Automobile Parades. The clip is on the corner of E. 27th Street and Madison Avenue, and shows the old Madison Square Garden in the background (now the New York Life Building).

19. A parade of the New York Police, turning into 14th Street from Broadway.

20. Another clip of the same location a month earlier shows the extent of the blizzard that year. In the park we see the statue of Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, the designer of the Statue of Liberty.

21. This clip  is most likely in Union Square Рa random fight between two newspaper seller boys.

22. An amazing panorama from the top of the Tower of Brooklyn Bridge looking across at Manhattan.

23. The island called Liberty Island was known as Bedloe’s Island up until 1956. This shot was taken from south east of the Statue of Liberty.

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24. A film of horse racing At Sheepshead Bay in Coney Island. Old maps seem to show that the race track was east of Ocean Avenue.

25. Another clip of Union Square, with the camera looking north-east showing 33 E.17th Street Center Publishing Company in the background.

26. Police on horseback in Central Park

27. This famous clip is one of the earliest of New York, showing Bergen Beach near Coney Island. Shooting the Chutes was one of the first amusement rides on Coney Island.

28.  This is the final clip and the oldest surviving footage of New York City. It was taken on 11 May 1896 and shows Herald Square, at the junction of Broadway, 6th Avenue and 34th Street.