Modern New York

Panorama from Times Building, New York
K: Wallace McCutcheon. P: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co. USA 1905
Location: Broadway and 7th Avenue, between 42nd and 43rd Streets, New York, N.Y.
Print: Library of Congress

“The view is from the top of the then newly-erected Times Building, at a height of approximately twenty stories. The film opens with a vertical pan, going from the street below up to the sky. The photographer then makes a pan to the north over the tops of the buildings from Bryant Park, south of 42nd Street (behind the New York Public Library) up 6th Avenue to the Hippodrome Theatre at 43rd Street. A marquee on the theater reads “A Yankee Circus On Mars.” The camera continues to rotate toward 44th and 45th Streets between 6th and 7th Avenues, until coming to rest looking directly north up Times Square to 46th Street, where Broadway (left) and 7th Avenue (right) diverge again.”
Library of Congress

“Writers online don’t write often about non-fiction but it’s a major part of silent film production, there is so much of it, and this is a great example. There is something about the design of New York, the rigid shapes of the buildings, the layers of corners in the background and foreground, and the puncture-holes of windows that dot every building – that is endlessly fascinating, and it’s in this period that modern New York we know was born.”
Christian Hayes
Film: ab Initio