Stokes, I. N. Phelps The iconography of Manhattan Island 1498-1909 (v. 1)

(New York :  Robert H. Dodd,  1915-1928.)



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ground, railed in from the street, and crowded with tomb-stones, are far from
being agreeable spectacles in such a populous city. At the commencement of
the Broadway, near the battery, stands the old Government-house, now con¬
verted into offices for the customs. Before it is a small lawn railed in, and in
the centre is a stone pedestal upon which formerly stood a leaden statue of
George the Third.    .    .

The City Hall where the courts of justice are held, is situated in Wall Street,
leading from the coffee-house slip by the water side into the Broadway. It is
an old heavy building, and very inadequate to the population and wealth of
New York. A Court-house on a larger scale, and more worthy of the improved
state of the city, is now building at the end ofthe Park, between the Broadway
and Chatham street, in a style of magnificence unequalled in many ofthe large
cities of Europe. The exterior consists wholly of fine marble, ornamented in
a very neat and elegant style of architecture; and the whole is to be sur¬
mounted by a beautiful dome, which, when finished, will form a noble orna¬
ment to that part ofthe town, in which are also situated the Theatre, Mechanic
Hall, and some of the best private houses in New York. The Park, though
not remarkable for its size, is, however, of service, by displaying the surround¬
ing buildings to greater advantage; and is also a relief to the confined appear¬
ance of the streets in general. It consists of about four acres planted with elms,
planes, willows, and catalpas; and the surrounding foot-walk is encompassed
by rows of poplars: the whole is enclosed by a wooden paling. Neither the
Park nor the Battery is very much resorted to by the fashionable citizens of
New York, as they have become too common. The genteel lounge is in the
Broadway, from eleven to three o'clock, during which time it is as much crowded
as the Bond street of London: and the carriages, though not so numerous, are
driven to and fro with as much velocity. The foot paths are planted with
poplars, and afford an agreeable shade from the sun in summer.

Among the pleasure-places in New York Lambert mentions the
theatre on the south-east side of the Park, Vauxhall, and Ranelagh. He
calls the theatre a large, commodious building. "The outside [is] in an un¬
finished state, but the interior is handsomely decorated, and fitted up in
as good style as the London theatres, upon a scale suitable to the popu¬
lation of the city. It contains a large coffee-room, and good sized lob¬
bies, and is reckoned to hold about i 200 persons." He rates Vauxhall
and Ranelagh as but poor imitations of their prototypes near London,
but calls them "pleasant places of recreation for the inhabitants." The
Vauxhall garden of this period was situated on the Bowery Road about
two miles from the City Hall. It is described as "a neat plantation,
with gravel walks adorned with shrubs, trees, busts, and statues. In the
centre is a large equestrian statue of General Washington.    Light musical
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