Broadway in the 19th Century


Broadway was the main thoroughfare in New York City, in the 19th century. Several of the early skyscrapers were built along Broadway which became a showcase for entrepreneurs, showcasing the best features of the City's architecture.

In the early 19th century, there were three churches on Broadway: the original temple of Grace Church at Rector Street, the second temple of Trinity Church, and St Paul's Chapel. The Gothic temple of Grace Church on Broadway, between Tenth and Eleventh streets, was consecrated in 1846. The Gothic temple of Trinity Church was consecrated the same year.

By 1811, Broadway ended at 10th Street, where it merged with the Bloomingdale Road, which then wandered up to near 147th Street, where it turned into the Kingsbridge Road. The Commissioners' Plan of 1811 retained Broadway and Bloomingdale Road up to 23rd Street. However, Bloomingdale Road, as far as 43rd Street, was restored in 1838, up to 71st Street in 1847, then in 1851 to 86th Street, with each section being straightened as it was restored. In 1865, it was restored all the way to Spuyten Duyvil Creek, northern Manhattan. The section below 59th Street was called Broadway, but the section from 59th to 108th Street was called The Boulevard. In 1899, the entire road was named Broadway, and the other names disappeared.

Electric lights in New York streets first appeared in 1880, on Broadway, as a demonstration by Charles F. Brush. In the 1880s, Broadway became cluttered with overhead wires and utility poles. After a legal and administrative battle, the City managed to get the companies to bury their wires about the 1890s.

This lighted street was and still is an important theater center. By the end of the century, there were more than 20 theaters on Broadway. At the beginning of the 20th century, the hottest place in New York was still Broadway, in Times Square.

More: Lower Broadway in the 19th Century


19th century Broadway


Old Broadway




Hotel Broadway NY




Old New York





Bowling Green 1845


NYC 19th century

Looking south on Broadway from 31st Street.


Broadway images


Broadway NY


NYC Broadway Nineteenth Century


Broadway, 1850, looking south from the southern end of City Hall Park. Drawn by August Köllner. Color lithograph by Isidore-Laurent Deroy.


Parade Broadway


Panoramic View Broadway


East side Broadway


Western Union




Worth Monument


Broadway buildings


Long Acre Square

Junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue.


Decoration Day


NYC Grace Church


Hotel Martinique


Worth House


City Hall Park


St. Denis Hotel


NYC St. Nicholas Hotel

Broadway and Spring Street, from Broome St.


NY Broadway


Bank republic

Broadway and the Bank of the Republic, Wall Street - 1865?



The beginning of Broadway, Bowling Green - 1828.


Lincoln's Funeral Procession

Looking north from Broome Street.


Broadway traffic


Trinity Church


Broadway New York


Casper Samler

Corner of Broadway and 29th Street. Site of Gilsey House.


NYC Broadway


Herald Building


Pictorial Description Broadway


Canal Street


City Hall Park


New York City 19th century



Lower New York


Western Union Telegraph Building


19th Century NY

Junction of Broadway and 5th Avenue.


Broadway 6th Avenue


Lower Broadway 1900


New York NY


19th century


Broome Street


Great Blizzard 1888


Broadway NY


Astor House 19th century


Broadway NY 19th century


City Hotel


New England Hotel

Building that previously occupied the site of the Trinity Building, adjoining Trinity Church Yard.


Herald Square 1898

Street scene on Broadway.


7th Regiment

Looking north from Broome Street.


Broadway in the 19th Century


NYC Lower Broadway


Fifth Avenue 19th Century


Broadway, Murray Street


Commercial Buildings Broadway


City Hall Park



Copyright © Geographic Guide - Antique photographs of NYC, 19th Century.


Fredricks' Photographic Temple of Art




Businesses Broadway


Post Office NY




East Side Broadway




Nineteenth Century




Panorama Broadway



Procession Broadway

North from Prince Street.




NY 19th Century