NYC Union Square Was Almost Unrecognizable In 1828

union square broadway bowery 1828Union Square in 1828

Photo: Painting the Town

You’re looking at Union Square in 1828, painted from memory in 1885 by Albertis Del Orient, and recently published in Painting The Town by The Museum of the City of New York.

The painting, featured on local history blog Ephemeral New York, shows the intersection of Bowery, Broadway, and University Place in the early stages of gentrification, after it was transformed from a burial ground for poor people to a public park. This pastoral area was “the vanguard of northward migration” for wealthy New Yorkers.

Nearly two hundred years later, it is one of the most iconic urban locations in the world.

union squareUnion Square in 2007

Photo: mklapper via creative commons

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