April 16, 2023



Once again, it's time for another Anatomy of a Photo session, this time examining a picture taken on June 1, 1940. 

Made from Second Avenue and 39th Street, half of the picture is a mass of rubble and shadow. The other half contrasts the beauty of Tudor City against the banality of life around it.

We begin with the building with some sort of sign on it.

A closer look at the sign painted over the door entry ‒ NO TRESPASSING ON THIS VACANT PROPERTY ‒ isn't much help, but at least we know it is empty. There are certainly a lot of cars around.

Our attention is caught by 8 Prospect Place, the small tenement that was the bane of the French Company. In the center of the above photo, this was the building that was holding up the development of the site.

Then there was a contraption that took some time to figure out. In the center in the photograph above are several beamed down lamps. To protect the cars overnight, one supposes; this is probably paid parking.

Finally, we come to the bottom half of the picture. Beyond the random rubble is the shadow cast by the Second Avenue Elevated.


  1. Time heals all wounds and look at what we have TODAY!

  2. Recently reading about the Sixth Ave. “el” it was described as “…(a) destroyer of life, limb, health, nerves, peace, happiness, beauty, prosperity, and progress…” I can only imagine that it was the same for the Second Ave. one as well.