November 1, 2018

Lost Tudor City: TAXI STAND Edition

Detail from 1930 brochure. The 'private street' was Prospect Place, now Tudor City Place.

Tudor City had its own taxi stand from the beginning, an idea very much in line with Fred French's desire to offer the most modern conveniences. Walking out the door and into a taxi moments later was an amazing thing at the time, the 1927 version of Uber. In 1927, the doormen hailed the cabs from the stand by telephone or by waving flashlights at night.

Located on the northwest corner of 41st Street and Prospect Place, the stand was opposite the community tennis courts (see map at right). The courts were demolished in 1954 and are now home to Tudor Gardens, No. 2.

Parmalee cabs had an exclusive deal for the taxi stand during the 1930s. Their advertising played up their gimmick ‒ retractable glass roofs ‒ which made the taxi's interior feel like it was being "swept by ocean breezes." Even better, the drivers "know all the short cuts around town."
A cab idling opposite the tennis courts in 1945, photo by the Wurts Bros. 
The 3-Hs, Hotel Tudor, Essex House and The Woodstock in the background. 
Another cab in front of No. 5, in a promotional photo illustrating Tudor City's many services.
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No discussion of Tudor City taxis would be complete without mentioning Martin Scorsese's movie, Taxi Driver, and its infamous scene shot in a cab parked alongside No. 25. See our earlier post about the sequence here, and a clip of the scene here. (foul language alert).
Taxi Driver's taxi pulls into the 41st Street cul-de-sac. No. 25 in the background.

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