A rare photograph taken on September 30th, 1870, of the future, and temporary Riverside Avenue, as it will be quickly renamed Riverside Drive, looking south from 109th Street in West Harlem, New York.
Riverside Drive was under construction while lawsuits over land ownership and eminent domain abuse were litigated. Obviously much has changed but there is so much that is recognizable today. The shape of the island of greenery (the tangled mess of bushes and trees) between the service road and the main drive is starting to look familiar. The service road does not exist on the 1867 maps. There are houses that unfortunately do not appear in this photo but do appear, along with their drive ways, on the 1867 map. The hill leading down from 106th street to the intersection of the service road and 108th street where the shortest timed traffic light on the west side is placed is already evident. Where the wagon with the big wheel in the middle of the drive is sitting is 108th street.