The Skyscraper Museum is devoted to the study of high-rise building, past, present, and future. The Museum explores tall buildings as objects of design, products of technology, sites of construction, investments in real estate, and places of work and residence. This site will look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.
LOWENSTROM'S PANORAMA-1850 SOUTH SIDE
Courtesy of the New York Public Library.
The images used to make this panoramic view of Wall Street come from a book published in 1849 called the New-York Pictorial Business Directory of Wall-St. Located in part at the New York Public Library's rare-book archives, the Directory contained complete views of all the buildings on Wall Street. The Directory's pages featured real-estate listings, notices, and advertisements proper to the buildings' occupants, owners, and associates.
The Directory offered a list of businesses on Wall Street and served as an important resource for the business community. Rather than being explicitly about the architecture of the buildings themselves, these simple line drawings diagram the businesses located in each building- they match a company (or companies) to an address. Business directories such as these, in conjunction with tourist atlases constitute an important resource for picturing Wall Street in the middle of the 19th C.
The American trade in lithography grew significantly in the early to mid 19th C. as those trained in Europe began to set up practices in major cities in the United States. The images here were engraved by Francis Michelin whose firm Sharp, William, Michelin, Francis & Co. produced a number of prints in the 1840s that survived and are still in circulation today.