Twenty-Third Street – New York City (1907)

Today, Manhattan’s primary shopping district lies in midtown; in 1900, however, shopping destinations
were further downtown, near 23rd street.
The area bounded by lower Fifth Avenue, Sixth Avenue between 14th and 23rd, and 23rd Street formed
the heart of the shopping district for the “carriage trade”.
The “Ladies’ Mile Historic District” today protects many of these commercial establishments dating from
the turn of the 20th century.
This postcard illustration of Twenty-third Street (looking east toward the Flatiron Building at Fifth
Avenue) was mailed from Brooklyn in April of 1907.
Katie writes to her friend, Miss Josephine Wagner, of Reading, Pennsylvania.
Katie thanks Josephine for her “postals” and inquires how she is doing.
Although postal regulations in 1907 permitted a written message on the “divided back” of a postcard,
this postcard appears to have been printed circa 1905 and compels Katie to write her short message on
the postcard’s face.
At this time, Reading was a significant industrial city and (as the home of the enormous Reading Railroad
Corporation) a center of rail transportation in east central PA.
I was thrilled to find this postcard as the streetscape of Twenty-Third Street is very familiar to me.
(I made digital corrections to two damaged areas (tears) on the face – if the Flatiron Building appears
unusually blurry, it is because I had to recreate a portion of the image,)
Shared with New York City Vintage History.


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