Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>
After some study, I'm certain of what that view is. It is looking down Third Avenue from the Bronx. The bridge to the left is the Willis Avenue Bridge. This is the same bridge that is behind the Third Avenue elevated tracks in the Bronx Terminal photo.
The bridge from which the photo was taken is the Third Avenue Bridge. That bridge lands in Manhattan about halfway between Third and Lexington Avenues. Another clue that we are looking down Third Avenue is that the Chrysler Building is to the right. I know it is on the east side of Lexington at 42nd street.I was at first a bit concerned about the angle of the bridge. The walkway railing in the poto points too far to the west. But on scrutinizng the model phoi, I see that the walkway is at an angle to the bridge.
The skyscraper far down Third Avenue is the Cities Service Building aka 60 Wall Tower, the third tallest building in the city. The building to its right is the Bank of Manhattan Building. They were the only tall buildings in the Wall Street area until the 60's. They are seven miles from the camea and the Chrysler Building is four miles.
I know those building well because my father had an office on the south side of the 55th floor of 60 Wall Tower. I could look down on the Third Avenue el trains snaking through the streets to South Ferry. I could also see the cars rolling off the CNJ car dumper and reversing to roll down into the yard. But we couldn't see the Statue of Liberty because the Bank of MAnhattan Building was in the way.
I was rather puzzled this afternnon by that Bronx Terminal photo. This evening I realized that it is a photo of a model cleverly superimposed on a real background photo. If you study maps of the area, you will see that the round freight house was not adjacent to the bridge. It was actually to the left of the Blue Ridge coal tower.
As for date of the photo, my best guess is late 50's. It can't be ebfore 1955 when the Third Avenue el was dismantled. The car in the photo is late 40's. The truck isn't likely to have been around in the 60's. It has to be before 1961 when the Chase Manhattan Building, not in the photograph, was completed. It was next to 60 Wall Tower. So that makes the date between late '55 and early '61.
Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
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