Old City New York

New York City in the Fifties


Those were years of great economic prosperity and great cultural transformation in the United States. New York City's population decreased from 7.89 million residents in 1950 to 7.78 million in 1960, with increasing suburbanization in the New York metropolitan area. However the City's development never stopped.

Civil rights movement gained momentum. Broadway was still glamorous and the cityscape was in continuous transformation. The United Nations Headquarters was completed in 1952. Several skyscrapers were built, like the 28-story tower at 600 Fifth Avenue, completed in 1952, the last addition to the Rockefeller Center, the Lever House at 390 Park Avenue, built in 1952, the 32-story building at 425 Park Avenue, completed in 1957, the 34-story 1065 Avenue of the Americas, built in 1958, the 38-story Seagram Building, completed in 1958, the 48-story Time & Life Building at 1271 Avenue of the Americas, completed in 1959. Guggenheim Museum opened in 1959.

The fifties set the stage for the cultural revolution on the sixties.


Copyright © Geographic Guide - NYC in the 1950s.


Old City of New York





NY 5th Avenue


Crowd gathered on fountain steps of Washington Square Park - Fall of 1953. Photograph by Angelo Rizzuto, Library of Congress.


Chrysler Building


Broadway Houston St.


NYC Battery Park


Maps NYC


Park Row NY


N Y Times Building


NY 20th Century

Looking south from Wall Street.



North from 87th Street.


20th century NY


20th century NY


Billboards NY


Grand Central Terminal


NY 20th century


Grand Central Terminal


20th century NY


20th century


Spring Street

Showing 19th century structures on the site of the old St. Nicholas Hotel.


South Street


Trading Floor NYSE


NY 20th Century


Ritz Tower


Broadway NY


West 45 Street


20th Century NYC


20th century NY


Theaters NY




Headquarters United Nations


Bowery scene


Forty Second Street


Renovation Brooklyn Bridge


20th century NY




New York Public Library


Astor Place


Intersection NY


Bowery Street


New York NY


Columbus Circle


20th century

Broadway, looking north from Houston Street.


Broadway NY


Fifties NYC


Construction UN


New York City in the Fifties