Labor Day Weekend Homework: Where Are These NYC Locations?

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After way too long, I’m finally getting ready to do a new installment of New York, You’ve Changed, in which I compare shooting locations in an older NY movie to the NYC of today (GhostbustersTaxi DriverRosemary’s Baby). This is one of my favorite features for the site, but unfortunately, researching the locations, taking the pictures and writing the posts takes a LOT of time, and I’ve been really busy lately.

But maybe you can help! These locations are currently giving me some trouble, and maybe someone out there will recognize them, or catch a clue I missed. The movie was probably shot around 1946 or 1947.

Location 1: Street cleaner washing streets

011 - street washer harlem

The Clues!

This was definitely shot in Harlem on Park Avenue beneath the elevated train tracks…But what street??

Location 2: Elevated subway train

018 - elevated train

The Clues!

I know if I spend enough time staring at the positioning of those skyscrapers, I can figure out exactly where this is…But maybe one of you passes by this corner every day to work?

Location 3: Meatpacking district

049 -

The Clues!

This is definitely in the meatpacking district – that’s the highline in the background, and the water beyond. Also, Henry Kelly Trading Company, seen on the left, appears in one Google search as being located at 418 West 14th Street. Except, this just doesn’t feel wide enough to be 14th Street. Any guesses?

Location: Subway entrance

051 - subway entrance

The Clues!

This could pretty much be anywhere – my gut says Wall Street, but that could be completely wrong. That appears to be a church wall jutting out in the background. Also, love the old ads for frankfurters and hot pastrami sandwiches!

Location: Subway entrance news vendor

052 - subway

The Clues!

Again, could be anywhere. Obviously was taken on an avenue…but which?? Hoping someone walks this every day to work…

Location: Jewelry shop

064 - more walking

The Clues!

The sign in the background says “Wallach – The [something] Stylist,” but I can’t find a listing for it online. There’s also a church steeple in the background, which is probably still there.

Location: Albert’s Beauty Salon

067 - alberts 807 something

The Clues!

A small storefront located at 807…something! Has to be an avenue for a number that high. Would love to know if this is still there.

Location: Apartment awning

075 - 748 Park

The Clues!

The apartment buildings in the background shouldn’t make this one too hard.

Location: West Village apartment chase

077 - escape

Man, huge brownie points to whoever can figure this one out. A pretty climactic chase occurs on the fire escape at this West Village apartment building (at least, it’s described as West Village in the movie). But few clues are given to its actual location. When the guy hits the ground, this is the first floor…

078 - escape

…which feels frustratingly familiar! Maybe one of those larger buildings closer to Fifth Avenue/Washington Square Park? The guy heads down the street…

079 - escape outside 235 soemthing

…which is, unfortunately, very poorly lit!

Thanks for any help, and have a great Labor Day weekend!


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  1. I’m betting the meatpacking one is 15th St.

  2. Location 3 is definitely 15th st. between 9th and 10th aves.

  3. I left Google Reader to the say the same thing as Kris and Ella. That’s the side entrance of Chelsea Market these days. I know it well my BF works at Bar Suzette right about at that point.

  4. I believe Location 2 is the 3rd Ave. El s-curve at Coenties Slip. Here is a photo from 1946 off

  5. There is a Wallach men’s store still in existance:

    4113 13th Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11219-1332

  6. Just chiming in to agree with all stated about the Chelsea Market & Coenties Slip comments above.

    Also, I’ve been HOPING you’d do this movie sometime! And you’re asking about all of the locations I’ve never been able to figure out myself (I assume you got all of the Stanton/Rivington/Delancey etc. ones pretty easily). I’m hoping you identified the subway station seen, which has always driven me nuts.

  7. I believe that the West Village Location is the apartment at Bank and Bleecker, just a block south of Abingdon Square.

  8. Colin nailed location 2! Good thing as I was about to spend the rest of the day on that. I knew it was looking north at 40 Exchange. I guess that is the 3rd Avenue El?

  9. location #2: try using google earth and you can navigate NYC in 3d and make rough approximations of the angle in the picture:,-74.008422&spn=0.006425,0.008047&t=f&z=17&vpsrc=6&ecpose=40.70286544,-74.01119586,286.08,19.838,67.9,0

  10. #3 is 15th btwn 9th & 10th. That elevated foot bridge is still there

  11. I don’t think the West Village location is Bank and Bleeker – the windows in the movie don’t have the bevel shape that building’s windows have But it’s frustratingly close.

  12. These are stills from ‘Naked City’. Maybe Marvin Wald knows more…

  13. I’ve been hoping you would do this film for so long! Can’t wait.

  14. Maybe I’m wrong, but it looks like the “Location: Subway entrance” subway entrance says “South Ferry” behind one of the men?

    • I think it might say “South Ferry” because it’s a downtown entrance (the “DO” over his shoulder), and South Ferry is the terminus of the IRT 7th Ave line. If so, then the subway stop should (probably) be on the west side of a two-way street (it looks like there are cars going both ways, anyway). It just doesn’t seem to match any of the currently-existing exits…but looks so familiar.

  15. Location 2 looks like Coenties Slip between Pearl and Water, facing north. There was an El going up Pearl St back in the day.

    The apartment awning shot looks like Park Avenue in the high 50’s.

  16. Love reading your stuff. Keep up the GREAT work, Scout!

    Agreed on #3–the sign is misleading because the view in the photo you posted shows the *back* of Henry Kelly. There is also an NYC historic report detailing the area that confirms Henry Kelly on the north side of West 14th street ( Be forewarned: it is a HUGE pdf file–but on page 130 there is detailed information on Henry Kelly.

  17. #3 is almost certainly W 15 St, looking west from 9th Ave: (That’s Chelsea Market to the north.)

  18. Photo 2: Coenties Slip

    Photo 3: West 15th, that footbridge between buildings is still there

    Photo 4: looks like 7th Ave near Penn station. IRT means 7th Avenue or Park/Lex.

    Photo 5: Def 5th Avenue, those lampposts were just about unique to that avenue.

    Photo 9: that’s a footbridge lamp. My feeling says east 50s near FDR Drive

  19. I believe the apartment awning is on Park between 57th & 58th. The large building in the background is the Waldorf Astoria. This is a link to what I am pretty certain is the building on the left side of the still here.


  20. There was an Albert’s Beauty Salon at 807 Lexington Ave, according to a Business Leases notice in the August 16 1944 edition of The New York Times.

  21. Also: that sign in the background of the jewelry shop shot says “Wallach The Hair Stylist” and in the New York Times I’ve found a couple of notices for Wallach’s Hair Stylist at 688 Lexington Avenue. That’s on the west side of the avenue, so the jewelry store would be uptown of it, in the low 690s, right below 57th Street.

  22. Location 3 is “29-35 NINTH AVENUE (aka 401-403 WEST 13TH STREET)” according to this site:

  23. Well, there’s a notice in the New York Times for September 15 1939: “Henry Kelly Trading Company, Inc, has been formed to engage in importing and exporting of general merchandise. Offices are at 413 West Fourteenth Street.” It may be that the “Henry Kelly Trading Company” seen in the Meatpacking District photo isn’t the main office but a loading dock that extends over to 13th St, as @r185 says, or 15th St, as just about everyone else says.

    It might be worth it to wander over and see if there are any Henry Kelly ghost signs.

  24. I believe the Subway Entrance is 39th street and 7th Ave, facing south. The building on the opposite side of the street (the west side of 7th Ave) are actually between 38th and 37th street.,+New+York,+NY&hl=en&ll=40.754897,-73.987792&spn=0.014044,0.033023&sll=40.713956,-96.152344&sspn=57.738969,83.935547&vpsrc=6&layer=c&cbll=40.754747,-73.987885&panoid=ZhAiJaFojaUTnnV3h0JBew&cbp=12,227.84,,0,0&z=16

  25. The Meatpacking one is definitely the corner of 15th St. and 9th Ave., looking west toward the High Line and Hudson. You can see the passageway above the street on Google Maps. I work in Chelsea Market, and that’s definitely the corner of it on the right (an Anthropologie store now occupies that corner location in the market). The Henry Kelly Co. on 14th St. must’ve extended to 15th for a loading dock, as previously mentioned.

  26. The Meatpacking shot is definitely 15th between 9th and 10th. I live one block south and one block east and walk that street all the time.

  27. Re: 3

    I don’t know the area, but looking at the picture – is it looking at the north or south side of a street? (And, I don’t know if Henry Kelly was at 413 or 418 West 14th.)

    If 418 West 14th Street is the front of the building (the south side of 14th) and this is a picture of the rear, the “rear address” has to be an odd number (and on the north side). And, obviously if the front of Henry Kelly was at 413 West 14th (the north side), the rear would be an even number (on the south side of that street). That should help determine if it is 13th or 15th.

  28. I’m TOTALLY enjoying reading all these responses. Bravo everyone for the fantastic work. I’m learning so much!

  29. Image two is Coenties, of course. The subway web site has several very old views (like with steam engines pulling trains on a few shots) of the Coenties Slip curve, part of the 3rd Ave. El. God knows how they managed a two-track elevated line over Coenties and up Pearl St.

  30. There is an Albert’s hair salon at 201 E. 16th St.\

    It’s on the second floor of a corner building and the only reason I bring it up (Albert being such a common name) is that the lettering on the window sign is very similar (except it currently isn’t done at an angle).

    On the bottom of this comment is the location on google maps – you have to tilt up to the second floor and if you zoom in you can just make out the lettering.

    My ultimate point being, maybe its the same Albert, and he would know more about the picture.,or.r_gc.r_pw.&biw=992&bih=660&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=%22albert%27s+hair+salon%22+%22new+york,+ny%22&fb=1&gl=us&hq=%22albert%27s+hair+salon%22&hnear=0x89c24fa5d33f083b:0xc80b8f06e177fe62,New+York,+NY&cid=1175959976864054890

  31. Forget my earlier speculations. The Henry Kelly building is now part of Prince Lumber (404 W. 15th St), and the building to the right is 408 W. 15th St).

  32. West Village shot-

    There’s an apartment building on W 15th, just west of 7th that resembles these shots. It looks very familiar to me, as I walk on 15th regularly. I’d have to watch the scene to be sure, but it looks really close to me.

  33. The building featured in the chase scene is actually in Midtown at 235 E 46th Street.,+New+York,+Ny&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x89c2591d4da3d53d:0xe56fda08aead2f26,235+E+46th+St,+New+York,+NY+10017&gl=us&ei=13p1TtbgFqz-sQKN0ZmMBQ&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=image&resnum=1&ved=0CB4Q8gEwAA

    The block looks completely different, but the fire escape, trees and the white building in the last still (now painted blue / visible if you pan west toward 3rd Ave) are still there.

  34. I believe the building in the upper left corner of the jewelry shop photo is 661 Lex, which would make Karen correct about the Wallach’s location. The 4th floor balconies gave it away. Doesn’t look like the church steeple is still there though. :u(,+New+York,+NY&hl=en&ll=40.761988,-73.970596&spn=0.000285,0.000613&sll=40.713956,-96.152344&sspn=57.738969,83.935547&vpsrc=6&layer=c&cbll=40.761988,-73.970596&panoid=_uHkHMxD_mclBYZEDyIEQg&cbp=12,208.93,,0,-16.25&t=h&z=21

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