May 26, 2022

Anatomy of a Photo: NORTH 42ND STREET

Again, another photographic deep dive through Tudor City where we attempt to extract something meaningful.
We begin with the photograph above, not a terribly impressive picture at first glance. The view is northwest; the building at top left is the Hospital for the Ruptured and Crippled. Thus, this is 42nd Street.

Then there is the sign on the side of the building which reads This Property Will Be Developed Under THE FRENCH PLAN as Part of TUDOR CITY. Such signs hung on many a building throughout the neighborhood.

But in fact, this building, along with the other roadhouses on both sides of 42nd Street, would remain standing until the late 1940s, when they were purchased by the city and demolished in order for the street to be widened.

At left, the cottage for the rental units of the Fred F. French Investing Company, moved from its original location, beside No. 45. It would not last long at this new site, moving to a brownstone across the street at 332 East 42nd St.

This part of the photo shows the wooden braces used to keep the wall from collapsing. Nearby, a group of men are gathered for an unknown reason. In the foreground, an unused wheelbarrow completes the tableau.

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A couple of quick notes. First of all, McFadden's bar at 42nd and 2nd has closed ‒ after 43 years ‒ and is in the process of being converted to a branch of Urgent Health Care. There's something about it that just doesn't sound right, but I assure you it is true.

Secondly, Manhattanhenge is almost upon us. The dates are:

Monday, May 30, at 8:14 pm

Tuesday, July 12, at 8:20 pm


  1. AnonymousMay 26, 2022

    This fascinating post will carry me through your time away! Thank you Curt for the endless celebration of our TC history! You are also a TC treasure—💞Sally

  2. AnonymousMay 26, 2022

    McFaddens has not been there for 43 years. It was another bar when I moved here in ‘95. I’ve never seen the appeal. I can’t believe people would line up to get in that place. Good riddance.

    1. AnonymousJuly 04, 2022

      I’m with you - McFadden’s was an absolute nuisance and I don’t miss being woken up around 2-3 am most weekend nights!