Union Square and Forth Avenue - 1930


Heavy car traffic in Union Square East and Forth Avenue. Photograph dated August 4, 1930, by Percy Loomis Sperr (1890-1964). It seems the park was still under renovation after it was excavated for the subway and mostly destroyed, between 1928 and 1929. Source: Photographic views of New York City from the collections of the New York Public Library.

During the second half of the 19th century the neighborhood around Union Square was one of the New York City’s most important shopping, entertainment, and hotel districts. This began to change in the early 20th century, when many shops, theaters, and hotels moved up north, especially to Times Square area.

The section of Fourth Avenue, from East 17th Street, at Union Square, to East 32nd Street, officially became Park Avenue South in 1959. The avenue continues north as Park Avenue.

Photo shows Guardia Life Building (mansard roofed structure at right), former Germania Life Insurance Building and now W New York Union Square hotel, on the northeast corner of Forth Avenue (now Park Avenue South) and East 17th Street. On the northwest corner stands the 16-story Everett Building, which was erected in 1908 on the site of the old Everett House, opened in 1853.

Tammany Hall Building, at 44 Union Square /100 East 17th Street, was then recently built from 1928 and 1929 in neo-Georgian style.

The Independence Flagstaff, dedicated just a month before, is partly seen on the left.


Forth Avenue NYC









East 17th Street



Guardian Life Building


Union Square Park NYC


Union Square Park

Before excavation for subway in 1928 and 1929.


Chrysler Building



 Union Square East


W Union Square


Tammany Hall


Everett Building



Union Square


Copyright © Geographic Guide - 20th Century in Manhattan - NY.


Union Square and Forth Avenue - 1930



Fourth Avenue




Old City New York