Columbus Circle

Antique Images


Columbus Circle rotary is an intersection of Eighth Avenue, Broadway, Central Park South (West 59th Street), and Central Park West, at the southwest corner of Central Park.

The Circle at Eighth Avenue and 59th Street was opened on March 2, 1867. The land on which Columbus Circle is located was acquired by the City by condemnation proceedings on February 28, 1868.

In 1869, it was referred as an open circular place, a turnabout for horse-drawn vehicles, by the Commissioners of the Board of Central Park (see an illustration from 1873). By 1875, it was known as "The Circle" (see map below), later the Grand Circle, as it was called by the New York Times in 1904. This newspaper, however, had call it Columbus Circle in its issue of January 5, 1902, and the "Eight Avenue Circle" in September 21, same year. The name became undoubtedly Columbus Circle after the opening of the subway line and local station on October 27, 1904.

The Columbus statue arrived in New York from Italy on September 4, 1892. The cornerstone of the Columbus Monument was laid on September 16, 1892. The Monument was design by Sicilian sculptor Gaetano Russo and donated to the City of New York by the Italian-American community. The Columbus Monument was dedicated on October 12, 1892, the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus, in the Antilles. The surrounding fountains were dedicated on Columbus Day, October 12, 1965.

In 1943, the immigration services moved from Ellis Island to Columbus Circle. In 1987, the Circle began to be redesigned. It was completed in 2005, resulting in new traffic patterns as well as an expanded plaza around the fountain designed by Olin Partnership with fountains, trees, and benches.





Columbus Circle, vintage postcard published by Manhattan Postcard, based in Photograph by Irving Underhill, 1931. The West 59th Street is on the right and the Merchants' Gate entrance to Central Park is on the left.


Old City of New York


Columbus Circle


Columbus Circle


The Circle


Another view of Columbus Circle by Manhattan Postcard about the 1920s.


Statue of Christopher Columbus in Columbus Circle, 59th Street and Broadway, undated photograph by Frank M. Ingalls, circa 1901-1930. Source: New-York Historical Society.


Vintage postcard by Arthur Strauss Inc. published in 1904 or before. Title: Boulevard Columbus Monument Central Park W.


Park New York City


New York NY


Christopher Columbus


Central Park old


The Columbus Monument, Upper West Side, 2010 (credit: Joe Buglewicz / NYC & Company).


Columbus Circle


The Circle shown in the Hinrichs' Guide Map of the Central Park, copyrighted in 1875.




Columbus Monument NY


Old Plaza Hotel


59th Street NY


Merchant’s Gate


Broadway NY


Central Park West


Central Park NYC


Map Grand Circle


Christopher Columbus NYC




Central Park images




Old Columbus Circle


NYC old




NY Monument


Columbus Circle




Aerial photo NY




Columbus Monument around the 1990s.




Copyright © Geographic Guide - Old photographs of NYC.




Columbus Circle