• Karen Seiger

NYPL Releases Images of NYC’s Market Heritage: Washington Market

Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. View Of Washington Market, From The S.E. Cor. Of Fulton & Washington Sts., 1859. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-d826-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99


The New York Public Library, my favorite institution, released a wonderful collection of 180,000 digital images that can be perused and downloaded for free by the general public. If ever there was a good reason to fritter away hours of your day on the internet, this is it.

I found fascinating images of the city’s market heritage, so I thought I’d start this new year with a series of stories featuring some of the great markets that have served and fed New York City, beginning with the Washington Market.

The Washington Market, located in Tribeca at Fulton and Washingon Streets, was inaugurated in 1812. It grew from a small resource for nearby neighborhoods into a massive market covering several city blocks and providing food to a growing urban population. According to the Project for Public Spaces, “by the 1880s, there were more than 500 vendor stands and over 4,000 farmers’ wagons driving into the city daily to sell.”

The Washington Market continued to operate until the 1960’s, when the area was cleared to make way for the new World Trade Center. The market moved to the Bronx in 1962, where it quickly declined from relevance. Read the entire story of this market, written with affection, by the Project for Public Spaces.

Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. Representation of the famous Washington Market, New York City. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-d822-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99


Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. (1868). Washington Market. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-d82c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99


Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. (1878). At Washington Market, New York. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-d820-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99


BONUS:  The NYPL Labs has a cool Stereogranimator, where you can create moving images like this one I made of The Merry Butchers.

GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator ~ Karen Seiger, Markets of New York City

#KarenSeiger #WorldTradeCenter #ArtandPictures #ProjectforpublicSpaces #Stereogranimator #HistoricPHotos #MarketsofNewYorkCity #NewYorkCityMarkets #MarketHistory #WashingtonMarket #NewYorkPublicLibrary

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© 2020 by Karen Seiger

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