New York City in the 19th Century


New York began the 19th century as the largest city in the United States, with more than 60 thousand inhabitants, and continued to grow and grow. In 1812, the new City Hall building opened and other institutions moved to the surrounding area in the following decades.

The opening of the Erie Canal, in 1825, boosted trade. New York was the commercial metropolis of the United States and also achieved primacy in manufacturing. More and more immigrants arrived in the City. Two great fires, in 1835 and 1845, devastated great part of Lower Manhattan. During the Civil War (1861-1865), New York was a big stage for riots. Parts of the City were dominated by gangs. In 1853, the Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations was held in New York City.

By 1870, New York had almost one million people and the early skyscrapers were under construction. In 1873, a financial panic on Wall Street triggered an economic depression in North America that lasted until the late 1870s. The crisis started in Europe, months before, due to bad investments in railroads.

On September 4, 1882, Thomas Edison’s Pearl Street Station, the first commercial electrical power plant in the United States, began generating electricity in Lower Manhattan.

In 1883, Brooklyn Bridge was open to traffic and the Statue of Liberty was dedicated in 1886. In 1898, New York City expanded to encompass its current geographic boundaries. In 1900 New York was the busiest port in the world and had 3.4 million inhabitants.

More: Historical maps of New York City



Antique photos of NYC



New York 19th Century



New York City Hall, park and environs, in 1849 or before (illustration by John Bachmann). Broadway is on the left. The City Hall was completed in 1812 and the city government moved from the old Federal Hall.


City Hall Park


Market Slip NY


New York City NY


Panoramic View NY


Broadway NY



New York 17th century


Broadway NY 19th century


Central Park images


Manhattan photographs


New York City Hall


Dakota NY


Fifth Avenue 19th Century


Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch


NY Early Skyscrapers


Historic Buildings


19th century NY


NY Hotels


Ellis Island




East River waterfront


Nineteenth century NY


Lower Manhattan


NY globe


Central Park NY


New York NY


Waterfront NY


New York Illustration


Manhattan NYC


NYC 19th century


Panorama New York City


Bowling Green images


Panorama New York NY


Harbor NY


New York NY 19th century


Plan NYC 1866


City Hall Park



City New York


NY Brooklyn old


New York nineteenth century


Old New York


Wall Street images


Great Fire 1835


Bird's Eye View of New York



Broadway NY 19th Century


NY Panorama


New York 18th century


Vintage images


NY Great Fire 1845


Copyright © Geographic Guide - NYC in the Nineteenth Century.


New York City in the 19th Century


Antique photographs