Early depictions of the corner of Broadway and Ann Street paint a serene, almost deserted view of what would become one of the city’s busiest intersections. In this watercolor, Scudder’s American Museum at left (which later became Barnum’s American Museum), and St. Paul’s Chapel at right (built 1766) are the most notable elements in the image. This pastoral urban depiction may have been created on a quiet churchgoing Sunday, a time when one English visitor noted, “The fierce storm of Broadway has lulled.” (Junius Henri Browne, The Great Metropolis, 1869).

Map of Broadway and Anne Over Time

Alexander Jackson Davis. St. Paul's Chapel, ca. 1830. Watercolor and graphite on paper. Museum of the City of New York, 29.100.1850.