Madison Square in the 19th Century


The Madison Square was named after the fourth President of the United States, James Madison, in 1814. It became home of the N.Y. House of Refuge for juvenile delinquents, in 1825. In 1847, it was formally opened as a public park. It was a residential quarter until the 1850s, when a number of fashionable hotels opened in the area, followed by offices, stores and theaters.

In 1853, the Hippodrome replaced the old Madison Cottage on the west side of Fifth Avenue. In 1856, the Madison Square Post Office opened in the St. Germain Hotel, at 22nd Street. In 1857, the Worth Monument was dedicated at the intersection of Broadway and 5th Avenue and the Worth House, a boarding house, opened soon after.

After the charming St. Germain Hotel opened in 1856, other hotels were built in the area. The luxury Fifth Avenue Hotel was erected between 1856 and 1859. St. James Hotel opened in 1857 on Broadway at the southwest corner of 26th Street. The Albemarle opened in 1860, Hoffman House opened in 1864 and Hotel Bartholdi opened in 1885.

The Kurtz Art Gallery opened in 1873 at 6 East 23rd Street.

The torch and arm of the Statue of Liberty were exhibited in the park, from 1876 to 1882, in an effort to raise funds for building the pedestal of the statue.

The original Madison Square Garden, an indoor arena, opened in 1879, just northeast of the square. It was replaced by a Moorish structure in 1890. Madison Square Garden moved to a new venue in 1925 in the Eighth Avenue and 50th Street.

Many events in Madison Square drew large crowds in the 19th century. In 1876, a large celebration was held in Madison Square Park for the centennial of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In the late 19th century, people came to the square at night for the illuminated bulletins of the presidential election, by the Herald or the New York Times. In 1889, a ceremonial arch was erected to celebrate the centennial of George Washington's first inauguration. In 1899, the Dewey Arch was built in honor of Admiral George Dewey, celebrating his victory in the Battle of Manila Bay in the Philippines the year before.

In the late 19th center, Madison Square was a great hotel center.

More: Madison Avenue at Madison Square




Madison Square


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Madison Square West


New York NY



New York City 19th century


Madison Square Park


Broadway and Fifth Avenue


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Junction Broadway 5th Avenue

Site of Flatiron Building before its construction.


Liberty torch

Statue of Liberty torch on the right.


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Albemarle Hotel


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Map of Madison Square


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Worth Square


Roman Hippodrome


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Albemarle Hotel Hoffman House 19th Century

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Madison Square in the 19th Century


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Statue of Liberty Torch


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Fifth Avenue Hotel