Astor House

The most luxurious and famous hotel of its day, the Astor House opened in 1836 on Broadway between Vesey and Barclay Streets. The six-story building, originally called the Park Hotel for its location across from City Hall Park, dominated the fashionable intersection. The variation in the height of the hotel from one image to another is a striking reminder that these depictions were highly subjective. The various iterations in which visualizations of the city appeared reflected the chaos or ordered nature of the block, the types of people frequenting the area, and other indicators of how the streets were viewed by contemporaries.