Madison Square Park, NYC - 1901

Madison SquareChildren playing in the Madison Square Park, 1901. The Park formally opened as a public park in 1847.  Source: Detroit Publishing Company photograph collection, Library of Congress.

The Madison Square Garden building, in the background, is situated northeast of the square. This was the second building, from 1890 to 1925. The original building, from 1879 to 1890, was demolished due to problems in the structure. The National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden was first held in 1883.

In July 1889, the directors of the Madison-Square Company reported that the entire capital stock, $1,500,000, for a mammoth exposition building had been subscribed. It was designed by noted architect Stanford White. It was a Beaux-Arts structure with a Moorish feel, including a minaret-like tower modeled after Giralda, the bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville. It was 32 stories high (332 feet), the city's second-tallest building at the time.

Foundations were completed about November 1889. In June, 1890, the amphitheater was disclosed to a few privileged spectators. The New York Times (June, 8) considered it "the largest hall of public entertainment in the world". It extended from 26th to 27th streets and occupied about two-thirds of the block between Madison and Fourth avenues. It was provided with seats for 9,000 persons.

More: Madison Square in the 19th century


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Copyright © Geographic Guide - 20th Century NYC. Historic Buildings.


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