Old real estate ads offer glimpse of forgotten New York

“Lots for sale on 83rd and 84th Streets at Avenues A and B!”

19th-century real estate ads
19th-century real estate ads

Lots of New York City addresses have come and gone over the last 200 years. And nothing illustrates how dramatic those changes can be better than these vintage real estate advertisements dug up by Ephemeral New York.


This ad from 1854 pitches land parcels on 83rd and 84th Streets at Avenues A and B. In fact, Present Day York Avenue was Avenue A until the 1920s. And based on the ad’s faint map, it appears that AvenueB Was The Last Avenue before the East River.

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And this advertisement refers to something called Manhattan Square, which once existed at today’s Central Park West in upper 70s and 80s. But just 20 years later, the auction site was repurposed for the American Museum of Natural History. . [Ephemeral NY] Christopher Cameron