A Scrapbook of Old Tribeca

Way back when, I asked/begged you to send me any photos you had of Tribeca back in the day, by which I meant from the 1990s and before. Some people contributed, but I planned on asking again (and again, and again…). And then I came across Yvonne Babineaux’s awesome cache of photos from the 1980s, and it took me weeks to do then-vs.-now comparisons. And in that time, more old photos trickled in. Rather than continue to nag at you, I figured it’s time to run what we’ve got.

I couldn’t accept ones where the sender didn’t have the rights, and if any slipped through, please let me know so I can remove them. And if you have any images, let me know! I’ll happily take them to be scanned. I’m at tribecacitizen@gmail.com.

Let’s start with El Internacional, the restaurant on W. Broadway where El Teddy’s once stood. This is from Jose Morales. (Note: Most get bigger, so click on them!)

And JoAnne sent in these two photos of the restaurant. (At least I think it was someone named JoAnne—oddly, I have no record of the email.)

And this one came via Jesse Eidsness. You can hardly blame people for taking photos of that building!

Here’s a fascinating shot of N. Moore between West and Greenwich, circa 1975. The sender wished to remain anonymous. UPDATE: See Robert’s comment about how this appears to actually be shot from Hubert.

In 2006—not that long ago, but long enough—Janet Goldner documented the demolition of the wonderful Marine Midland Bank building where the Smyth now stands.

“I shot the attached picture from our roof on Duane Street in the summer of 1976,” said Laurie Spiegel of the photo below, which is huge, so definitely click on it. (She shot it on slide film and then used a copy machine—back in the day—to make a print; hence the not-so-modern quality.) “It looks west from our roof on the north side of Duane Park toward the Hudson. You can see people enjoying the summer day on their roofs, the old elevated West Side Highway, the vacant and parking lots that later became Whole Foods, the school and Washington Market Park.”

Joan Pantzer, who owned the Towers Cafeteria (where the Odeon is now) emailed two photos of the restaurant, as well as one from the 1930s of the Western Union Building at 60 Hudson with the elevated railway on the W. Broadway side.

Towers Cafeteria courtesy Joan Pantzer Towers Cafeteria interior courtesy Joan Pantzer Western Union Building 1940s courtesy Joan PantzerFinally, Wayne Burkey of Sotheby’s International Realty, sent over photos of the Washington Market area (where he grew up) in the spring and summer of 1970. First, an exposed wall on Washington Street:

The Jonas Wood House, one of several Federal houses moved from Washington to Harrison (with the World Trade Center in the background):

Looking east on Duane (at Washington):

300 Washington (at Reade):

A dormer on a Washington Street house:

And houses on Washington, south of Harrison:

Thanks to everyone who sent photos! And please do email any photos of old Tribeca to me at tribecacitizen@gmail.com. I’ll even come over and borrow prints in order to scan them (carefully and lovingly!).

Update: Comments have been turned off due to spam. To have them turned back on, please email tribecacitizen@gmail.com!



  1. teddy’s, classic…..

  2. These photographs are amazing. They vividly illustrate how temporary our surroundings really are.
    And, they remind me of two things; to take photographs of things are are not always conventionally beautiful, and to resist the urge to clean house.
    Thank you to those who have recorded the moment, kept it, and have shared with us now.

  3. I’ve never told anyone this but I kept the stained glass awning from Teddys.

  4. Thanks for the photos. Great reminder of how things have changed. In 1974, The New York Post did an article of the neighborhood, showcased with a photo of me, a tenant, standing in front of my apartment building, IPN, and the caption was, “Pioneer.” I will contact the Post’s archives and see if I can get a copy of the photo. In 1974, very few residents were willing to walk down the dark streets pass the eggs and dairy loft warehouse buildings and step over the construction debris to get to their apartment. The photos show that the neighborhood grew from four thousand residents, mostly artists in lofts, to the 40,000 to 50,000 who live here now.

  5. Great to see the pictures & relive the history. Love the houses on Washington- I think the adaptation & commercial use shown would have been more interesting to preserve than the “sterile” restoration bringing them back to the early 1800’s.

    Small quibble- 5th image down, captioned as “N. Moore between West and Greenwich”, is actually the south side of Hubert Street between Washington and West Streets. The building under construction, in the middle of the picture, is 80 N. Moore street, 2 blocks to the south.

  6. thanks for rekindling memories and reminding us of our changing urban landscape.

  7. What a reat catalogue of potos and how the area has changed. This has to be one of the best reasons for social networking; the collective knowledge of your readership is very valuable and enlightening.