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Mine Host McCann and the Woolworth Clan

Some time back, we recounted here the testimony of Mr. Patrick H. McCann before the Fassett investigating committee in 1890. McCann told how his lease on the Mount St. Vincent Hotel (later renamed McGown’s Pass Tavern) was not being renewed … Continue reading

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The Greenhouses and Their Enemies

Like most late-19th Century improvements to Central Park, the new greenhouses had their foes. Almost as soon as they were announced, captious critics denounced them and called upon civic-minded burghers to firebomb them; or at least, to plot their destruction. … Continue reading

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Sketch of Proposed Fortifications, 1814

A watercolor from the summer of 1814, right after the British shelled Stonington, Connecticut, and the New Yorkers suddenly realized an invasion might come via Long Island Sound. This rough watercolor drawing shows how fortifications might be set up along … Continue reading

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The Museum and Restaurant in 1869, from Harlem Meer

From Clarence Cook’s Description of the Central Park, a limited-edition book published in 1869. Engraving by the painter Albert Fitch Bellows. A very rare depiction of the region soon after the Meer was built. “…the visitor observes with pleasure that … Continue reading

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McGowan’s Pass, Reimagined in 1858

Yet another fantasia on McGowan’s Pass, as conjured up at the time of Central Park’s opening. As usual, we are supposed to be looking at a pastoral scene of about 1814-1816. By 1858 Fort Fish (top of the photo) was … Continue reading

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McGowans Pass, Central Park—the Riverside County, California Version

Off in the desert developments of Murrieta, in California’s Riverside County, there is a posh McMansion enclave called Central Park. And at the northernmost reaches of this development, beyond such roads as Turtle Pond Lane and Boat House Drive, and at … Continue reading

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A View from 1814

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