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Reality Is Better Looking

Above, another hotel appointment card, this time from the Gilsey House. The hotel was completed in 1871, with that incredible cast-iron facade constructed by Daniel Badger. It’s still there, over 150 years later, now apartments.

The engraving on the card really doesn’t do the building justice. Here’s a stereoscopic view:

It’s rather hard to say when that photo was taken. The one-story building on the left is 1205 Broadway and it was there before 1890 and after 1910. The presence of cobblestones on Broadway rather than asphalt suggests pre-1900, but it’s hard to be sure. The next photo, from 1916, is much easier to date: the work in the street is the construction of the BMT Broadway subway, which took place in this area from 1914 to 1917. Note the addition of a modern elevator bulkhead on the left (north) side of the building, above the main roof.

The hotel should have hired an engraver with a more artistic bent to create their stationary.