About the commentary.



Exterior shot 1.

A link to the NYPL Digital Gallery. Photo published in The New Metropolis in 1899.

The page doesn't provide any info on the photo itself, so here is what I can safely say from looking at it:

The viewer is facing the William Street entrance. New Chambers is to (viewer's) left and Duane is to (viewer's) right.

If the angles of the building do not look quite square, that is because they aren't. The shape of the building follows the shape of the intersection, resulting in something like an irregular trapezoid.

The plaque with the circular medallion on it, at the corner of the second floor (where the LH really begins), commemorates Charles L. Brace. It was unveiled on Dec. 8, 1895 at a ceremony at the DSLH. The plaque is in the form of a gothic tablet, ten and a half feet high, and at the time was the largest bronze casting ever made in the U.S. The medallion in the center is a life-size marble bust of Brace.

The sign "News Boys' Lodging House" seems to be tilted downwards, possibly so that it can be read easier from street level.

The sign "Brace Memorial" can be seen at the top of the third story. It was probably added around 1891/1892.

Uhlig & Co. Cloth House has rented out the first floor (and possibly the basement as well). They were at that location since at least 1893; I am not sure how long they occupied it.

The building at the extreme right of the photo (you can just see the edge) is actually across the street (across William), closer to the camera.

Exterior shot 2.

A link to the Orphan Train site.

I e-mailed the site to ask about the photo but did not get a reply. So here is what I can say about it:

This shot is from almost the same angle as the above (NYPL) photo.

With the foreground building in the first photo out of the way, you can clearly see how the LH takes up the entire block, at least on this side of the building. It does not fill the entire block on the New Chambers or Duane street sides.

There is no date for this photo. Because of the presence of the plaque/medallion, it has to be after 1895.

There no longer seems to be anyone renting out the first floor.

The letters on the "News Boys' Lodging House" sign are brighter than in the first photo. The sign itself appears not to be as tilted.

It is possible that this photo was taken no later than the mid/late 1910's, when media mentions of the DSLH stopped using the word "Lodging" and only used the words "House" or "Home."

Beal photo.

This is a small piece of a huge panoramic photo taken by Joshua Beal in 1876. At the time, the Brooklyn Bridge was still under construction. Both towers had been built, although the cables between them had yet to be strung. Beal took this photo from the top of the Brooklyn tower, looking towards the Manhattan waterfront.

You can see the dark, blocky building about a third of the way down. It has a light-colored, triangular peak, which reads "HOME FOR NEWSBOYS" in all caps (the "for" is very small; it's just to the left of the word "Newsboys").

Since this is just a small part of the entire photo, when I first saw it, I didn't even spot the LH. It wasn't until much later that it finally caught my eye.

Compare the roof in this photo to "Exterior shot 1" and "Exterior shot 2" above. This is what caused me so much confusion when I saw the images together. For more on this, see the "Layout" page.

(The crosshatch pattern across the photo is the result of scanning and is not part of the original.)

Beal photo, more context.

A zoom-out of the previous photo. Even this is but a small portion of the entire photo. You get a better idea of the location of the DSLH relative to the rest of the city. I have marked some of the sites:

A: Tribune Building. At the time (1876), this was the tallest building on Park Row. It would be another 14 years before the World Building would go up.

B: Manhattan tower of Brooklyn Bridge. Note that nothing connects it yet to the Brooklyn side.

C: The DSLH, with its light-colored peak.

Directly behind A and B, and blocked from the camera by them, is City Hall Park.

Birds-eye map, likely 1903-1905.

Full map is at the Library of Congress. The thing to keep in mind about this map is that it's not at all to scale; it's amazingly detailed but was drawn more with an eye towards artistry than accuracy. Well-known areas, such as this one, are drawn more realistically; I checked several other buildings, such as the Brooklyn LH and Tompkins Sq. LH, and their representations on this map don't resemble the actual buildings at all.

This tiny (the full map is huge) piece of the map shows the City Hall Park/Newspaper Row area. I have colored some relevant portions of it. The red building is the DSLH (with the "Duane St." label highlighted in green). The tall building hiding it partially from view is the 10-story Rhinelander Building (erected 1893). The yellow structure is the World Building. The blue one is the Tribune; just next to it but hidden from our view is the Sun. You can see how close the DSLH was to Newspaper Row, although it is only relative (compare it to the zoom-out of the Beal photo above, which shows that the ground distance was still quite far).

The LOC does not give a specific date for this map, labeling it only as "190-?" I've narrowed it down to this date range given that (if you look at the entire map), you can see the whole Williamsburg Bridge (completed 1903), but the Tribune Building is still shorter than the World (the Tribune's height was raised in 1905).

Birds-eye map, 1879.

Full map is at the Library of Congress. As with the map above, this one is not to scale.

This is very similar to the 1903-1905 map, but drawn nearly a quarter of a century earlier. The Rhinelander Building has not gone up yet; instead, the old Rose Street Sugar House (which infamously served as a prison for American POWs during the Revolutionary War) still stands in that spot. Thus we get an unobstructed view of the DSLH here.

From this image we can see (and it is fairly accurate as far as the structure of the DSLH goes) that
a) the roof is indeed flat;
b) that a small part of the building (nearest us) is not seven stories tall;
c) and that the building is roughly in the shape of a thick "L."

Duane/back side of DSLH, 1892.

Link to the NY Public Library. These images are getting harder to find because they don't mention the DSLH or CAS anywhere in their text; I found it via nearby street names and a lot of squinting.

Use the site's zoom feature and look up at the upper right-hand corner...that's the back of the DSLH! The roof, chimneys, and top two floors are visible, as well as part of the lettering ("HO FOR NEW" can be seen). Here we have our solution to the roof mystery. It appears the peaked wall, on which the lettering appears, rises higher than the rest of roof (which, as we've seen in other images, is flat).

We are looking at a back corner of the DSLH. Given the floorplan of the DSLH, to the left (camera's left) of the corner is the side of the LH that lies along Duane St. To the right of the corner is the backside of the building, parallel to the East River and visible from the Brooklyn Bridge. Compare it to the 1879 birdseye map above; there is the portion of the building (all the way on the right side of this photo) that rises only to five stories, not seven.

On the back of the photo is typed "[#40?] Rose Street, West Side., taken from a point about 353 East Side., looking Southwards across Duane Street. About 1922 it seems the Rhinelander 10 story building occupied the South West corner of Rose Street." (The Rhinelander Building actually went up in 1893.) Comparing with the Beal photos and a 1899 map, it appears the camera is standing within the block bounded by William, Duane, and Rose Streets, and looking north. That is, Duane St. runs between the DSLH and the Sugar House from left to right. Note that the DSLH's rows of windows run along the full length of its Duane St. facade.

The building in the foreground is the Rose Street Sugar House, under demolition.

Duane side of DSLH, 1892.

Link to the NY Public Library.

A similar photo to the one above, though in this case you can only see a sliver of the DSLH along the photo's right side. The Sugar House is now further along in demolition than in the previous photo, with the shorter part of its structure (to the right side) completely gone. The camera is in much the same spot but has moved slightly to its left, so that the back side of the DSLH is no longer visible. Now, however, we can see the DSLH from ground floor to roof.

The photo's back reads: "Rose and Duane Street, showing View of Sugar House Constructed [sic] 1763 as seen in period of American Revoulution [sic]. no [sic] record."

If you use the zoom feature, you can see a plaque beside the door on the ground floor, but even at maximum zoom I can't read it. The LH's windows can be seen to be the style that slides open vertically, particularly obvious in the third-floor window.

DSLH, 1933, photo 1.

Another stroke of luck. On the front is hand-written, "William Street - Nos. 242-244." The back reads "The Brace Memorial Newsboy's [sic] Lodging House, 242-244 William Street, east side, from and including Duane, to and including New Chambers Streets. The view also shows New Chambers Street, south side, from and including William, to, but not including Pearl Streets. (New Chambers Street, [sic] is arbitrarily set to run east and west). June 24, 1933." Unfortunately, none of this text is searchable, and it wasn't until I found and ID'd the building as the DSLH that I even thought to look for text on the back.

Here we get a great view of the DSLH. What the tortuous list of street names and directions listed above amounts to is that it is taken from nearly the same spot as the photos from 1899 and from the Orphan Train site (the first two photos in the "Exterior" group above), only that the camera is farther back in the intersection in this case.

What looks like surface damage on the DSLH's walls are in fact smudges on the photo.

If you compare it to the photos from 1899 and from the Orphan Train site, there are some significant changes. For one, the roof has now been completely altered. It has been raised and squared off, and you can see that the windows on the top floor, once arched, are now rectangular with what appear to be panes that open by pivoting outwards. The ground floor appears to be vacant. There is what looks like a flagpole projecting from the third story.

The memorial tablet on the corner is now missing, as are the "Brace Memorial" and "News Boys' Lodging House" signs that used to stretch all the way across the second and third stories. I am not sure when they were removed, but perhaps this is a clue: when objects like these that have been hanging against a brick wall for a long time are removed, there is often a visible mark left behind. Here, the wall shows no indication that there used to be something in front of it. A June 21, 1925 article in the Indiana Evening Gazette mentions that the DSLH's walls were being sandblasted clean. Could this be when it happened?

Instead, there is now a sign hanging from the corner. If you can't read the text, even at maximum zoom, don't strain yourself: there's another photo.

DSLH, 1933, photo 2.

On the front is hand-written, "New Chambers Street - N.5[?] - E - William St. - New Bowery." The back reads "New Chambers Street, north side, east of and including William Street, to and including New Bowery. The view shows the Brace Memorial Newsboy's [sic] House, (Children's Aid Society) on William, at the S.E. corner of New Chambers Streets. June 24, 1933." As above, none of this text is searchable. In fact, I found this photo before the "1933 photo 1," but again I never thought to look at the text on the back; I recognized the DSLH by its architecture, but it took me some time to confirm it.

So where is the DSLH, you ask? It's the building on the right side, of which we see only a small piece. Comparing it to other photos of the DSLH, I believe we're looking at the NW corner, and that the photo was taken standing in the middle of the New Chambers/William/Duane intersection, looking towards NE.

Here, we get a better look at the former locations of the memorial tablet and the "News Boys' Lodging House" sign that used to stretch across the second story.

The sign hanging from the corner is indeed the same one seen in the photo above; given the structure of the DSLH, there are no other corners like this from which signs can be hung. It reads, in all caps:

Brace Memorial
Newsboys' House
Children's Aid Society
Newsboys' Club
Boys' Hotel
Junior Employment Bureau
Medical and Dental Clinic
Information Bureau

1898 Atlas.

A small piece from the Atlas of the city of New York, Bromley, 1898-1899. The DSLH is at center top. The street along its south walll is Duane; the street along its west wall is Williams.