In 1915, when this photo was taken, Lexington Avenue at 116th Street was firmly in the Little Italy of East Harlem, also called “Doctors Row” hence the Italian in the signs on the far right above a chemist’s office.
ForgottenNY.com reports that “in decades past, Bloomingdale’s, one of the most famous stores in the world, used to advertise their location at Third Avenue and 60th Street with painted signs saying ‘All cars transfer to …’ under a beach umbrella like the one in the top left corner o the photograph.” H-O Oatmeal is still around.
“One block west is the elevated trestle crossing of the New York Central and New Haven Railroads on Park Avenue. The Subway Cafe, on the right-hand corner, anticipates the opening of the Lexington Avenue subway by three years.”
“This is the same Lexington Avenue at 116th Street in the 1930’s that Congressman Fiorello LaGuardia begins holding election-eve rallies at the intersection of 116th street and Lexington Avenue. LaGuardia dubs the intersection the “lucky corner” and the tradition is continued by Vito Marcantonio whose bi-annual gatherings at the corner become celebratory meeting places for the Puerto Rican and Italian communities.” states VisitElBarrio.com.
Do you have any memories of Lexington Avenue and 116th Street?
- Italian Savings Bank, East Harlem 1923 (harlemworldmag.com)
- The Little Italy of East Harlem, 1890 (harlemworldmag.com)
- The Kelly Bros Saloon, Harlem, 1915 (harlemworldmag.com)