Vintage Video Surfaces of Algonquin Hotel

I recently found a video clip that shows the Algonquin Hotel when it was just three years old. It is in the collection of the U.S. Library of Congress, and was filmed in 1905 from the roof of the old New York Times Building on 42nd Street.

Algonquin Hotel
The Algonquin Hotel is visible next to the giant Hippodrome Theatre.
I was searching for photos of the Hipprodrome Theatre, the biggest theatre ever on Broadway. It opened in 1905 across the street from the Algonquin, and once took up the whole of Sixth Avenue between West 43rd and West 44th streets. The Algonquin was built from 1901-1902 and opened for business in late 1902.

What’s great about this panorama, which was shot from the same location where the ball is lowered every New Year’s Eve, is it shows what the area looked like in one whole sweeping motion. Times Square had just become the new name for what was Longacre Square until the Times moved operations in 1904. The subway was also just one year old when this was filmed.

The Hippodrome was demolished in 1939 and so was the Sixth Avenue elevated train running in front of it. The Algonquin will turn 110 years old this fall.

The camera was on top of the old Times building. In this photo, the Metropolitan Opera House is on the extreme left and the Astor Hotel is visible in the distance on 44th Street. Both were demolished in 1966-67.

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