|Mott Avenue Station - December 12, 1903
The new subway system chiseled streets into chasms, the new and improved water, gas, and electrical infrastructure riddled the city with trenches and holes, and all of that was topped-off with a building boom.
The New York Sun of September 13, 1903, reported: "Miles upon miles of pavements torn up to repair gas and water mains, lay cables and install power . . . New Yorkers are getting used to the chaos in the streets. They now take it as the natural order of things. They scale peaks and mountain ranges of litter, climb around isolated upheavals of earth and building materials, leap over yawning chasms and look out over scoriated wastes in an absentminded way. . . . on July 1 there were more than twenty-five miles of trenches open."
Getting a ticket to The Wizard of Oz, then playing at the Majestic Theater just southwest of Central Park, must have provided a delightful escape from the noisy, smelly, and dangerous mayhem.
A curious image of New York City in 1903 recently surfaced, featuring an easily missed Wizard of Oz connection. Can you spot it? Click the image below to begin your hunt.
|Longacre Square (soon to be Times Square) August, 1903 CLICK TO ENLARGE
|1 Times Square (viewed from 47th Street)
In another well-known photograph, this same poster was slathered over the entire side of a building.
|A wall of Wizard of Oz posters at Fifth Avenue and 36th Street.
|The Wizard of Oz tornado poster circa summer 1903 CLICK TO ENLARGE
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