Cumberland House after Demolition of Flatiron Buildings - 1901


West side Broadway, looking south from 23rd Street, after demolition of the old Flatiron commercial buildings in the early 1901. The Cumberland Apartment House, former St. Germain Hotel, completed the block, bounded by Broadway and Fifth Avenue, between 22nd and 23 streets, were Flatiron Building began to be erected the same year. Source: Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of H.J. Heinz Co.

The old St. Germain Hotel opened in 1856 and the commercial buildings on the northern part of the block were built some years later. By 1880, the hotel was expanded and transformed into an apartment house called the Cumberland. Advertisements in its wall, facing Madison Square, began to be placed in 1890 and the first electric signs, in 1892. In 1896, the New York Times rented the wall for the winter season. Later, the wall was taken over by the H.J. Heinz Company, which hired O.J. Gude to place its immense electric pickle sign.


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Cumberland House after Demolition of Flatiron Buildings - 1901