Minecraft Project: Downtown Manhattan in 1954


Weird. I have you added I’m pretty sure, I’ll try removing and re-adding you or something related


So I started on the P.A. version for this purge event, and it isn’t as bad as I thought. Radio Row has had it’s fair share of WW2-ism, and progress will ensue eventually.

Fidelity Casualty Building has collapsed. Rare view of the Washington Life Building’s rear facade, which was only visible from 1898-1909 and in 1968.

Here’s a question: you have the power to bring back any building ever demolished in New York, but you can only do 12. What would they be?


  • Singer Building
  • City Investing Building
  • Tribune Building
  • Penn Station
  • Washington Life Building
  • New York Produce Exchange
  • Commercial Cable Building
  • Fidelity Casualty Building complex
  • German American Building
  • John Wolfe Building
  • 135 Broadway
  • New York World Building


My list would be almost the same as your, but since it’s just 12:

• Singer Building
• City Investing Building
• Tribune Building
• Penn Station
• Washington Life Building
Waldorf Astoria Hotel (where today we have the Empire State Building)
• The first Western Union Building (Broadway w/ Dey St.)
• Fidelity Casualty Building complex
• German American Building
American Exchange National Bank
• 135 Broadway
• New York World Building


Good picks.

I was actually going to put the AENB on there, but I do sort of like it’s replacement as well. Made for a good small enclosed space and would be better if god itself wasn’t demolished the same year it opened…

But eh, this was a block of gems :yum:


I didn’t know it was demolished to make way to another building which didn’t even last a year, can you show me? It would be nice to know, I always thought the entire block was demolished to make way to the Marine Midland Building.


It was. Marine Midland was built in 1967 and the singer building came down the same year, in which the weirdest skyscraper pair only lasted a few months.

Singer (aka God) is my favorite building all in all, and 140 Broadway is my favorite modern building, so I always loved the way they looked together.


Well I’m multitasking by adding to the normal map and working on the destroyed one.

Here I modified the Stock Exchange annex building. Not much to show but the gold roof and new details look great and the Commercial Cable Building is just plain awesome.

I also might add the grunge wall to the City Investing Building. It was obvious that it was never cleaned, as evident of this video from when it and the Singer Tower were getting ready to bite the dust:

And this from 1965:

Any opinions? It might be sloppy, but it doesn’t look right clean.


Here ya go man (circa 1951)


Beautiful. I see a lot of goodies hiding in there. This’ll be helpful for finding rooftop equipment on taller buildings and finding the looks of smaller buildings near the South St seaport.

Weird: Singer still has it’s four fin-like gargoyles on top, but the flagpole is gone.

Wait… I’m seeing something wrong with Singer and it’s known history. I’ll post again soon.


Prepare for a long post…

So here is what I realized.

This photo was dated 1948. Is and always was. Let’s note the details:

Singer is missing it’s flagpole, which was removed in 1947. There are no balconies, and the rooftop detailing with the 4 large gargoyles is gone, replaced by metal fencing. The wide windows on the dome roof pop out rather than tapering with the roof, since they were replaced in 1940.
Also note the City Investing Building roof is being covered up. The light part is blue like it was, the dark part is the new gray color it will be.

robermat’s picture from 1951 shows the gargoyles are still intact.

Here it is in House on Telegraph Hill, a 1951 film. Likely from 1950, the cupola is fully detailed, the rooftop details are there, and the balconies restored.
City Investing’s roof is still teal here, but may be beginning to be restored.

1952, from a helicopter. Zoom in carefully, and with a good eye, you will see the four statues on each corner of the roof still. You can also see that the top of the dome roof is blue. If it was renovated, it would be gray like in the supposed 1948 picture. The CIB roof has made more progress in it’s renovation.

Another 1952 shot. You can see down the shaft at each decorative floor that the center of each white stripe is slightly miscolored. Balconies.

And here in 1953, the top of the dome is grey rather than blue, meaning the renovation has happened and the details were lost. The CIB roof is completely gray now.

Conclusion? We’ve been lied to. The picture is really from 1952 or 1953 instead of 1948, and what was thought to be a single renovation that wiped out the details on the Singer Building was multiple.

The true story, which I can attempt to piece together:

We start off with this. Seen circa 1938.

1940: The first renovation occurs. the large windows at the observatory level are replaced, and rather than tapering back they stand vertical.

1947: The flagpole and minor detailing is removed. See the scaffolding.

1952: The remaining detail is removed. Balconies are stripped, the gargoyles and large copper railing on top are replaced with a black metal frame and iron railings.

1952-59: the black metal frame is eventually painted blue to fit with the roof(or the new roof cap was made of some kind of material that gained patina), leaving us with what we have here, circa 1960 from Chase Manhattan under construction:


Why do you think they made those alterations?


Not sure honestly. Could be that it was too much to repair and maintain, especially shown by the red bricks turning black. The rooftop detailing was probably in need of repair and they probably by this point had the function over form outlook on things.

The flagpole was probably doomed to come down since it seemed to cease use after the 1920s.


Update time:

I did it. Didn’t turn out half bad.


  • Added the National Park Bank Annex Building. Built around 1905-1908, it came down with the original building, as well as the St. Paul and Knox Buildings for 222 Broadway. The block is done now.

  • Added the 1900 Broad Exchange Building. Pretty damn massive. The angle and the way it overlaps with Lord’s Court was painful in which I had to (or at least the other person who did that portion) build the back wing’s walls up completely by hand.

Here’s overlooking the area. Good view of the Commercial Cable and Blair Buildings.

Speaking of those two, what the hell is this building? I have seen landbooks refer to it as just a run-on portion of the Blair Building, and newspaper articles saying it is a wing of the Commercial Cable Building. Can anyone assist me in research on this subject?

Here it is at left. Blair Building on right

Here, a landbook aerial

To close off, two underrated gems:

1: The Knickerbocker Trust Building. 60 Broadway. Built in 1908 as a ten story building, it gained a massive height boost by 1912, and another set of stories in 1932 bringing it to the massive slab shown. The beauty was unfortunately demolished in 1963, with the Central Hanover Building (former world’s tallest), for the annex to 1 Wall Street.

2: The American Exchange National Bank / Guaranty Trust Building at 128 Broadway. The 1901 building was used in the film ‘Fourteen Hours’ as the Rodney Hotel. It was demolished in late 1964 for 140 Broadway. I do love the replacement a lot but this building was a masterpiece.


Looks great. Bro I was wondering if at somepoint you could help me build Grand Central, im currently at 42nd and Park, with the Lincoln Building and others completed, but im having trouble with G

rand Central


I’m not sure since I’m almost never free, but you can possibly get some ideas from the Custom House, since they look slightly similar in ways:


Thats true👍


I don’t know if that was the case for the Singer Building, but I saw once a documentary that many of the first skyscrapers in New York had part of their ornaments taken out around the 30s and 40s due to technological advancement. They realized that these ornaments were not of an ideal quality and often fell off the buildings putting the lives of pedestrians at risk.


Very true also. The Woolworth Building if I recall right had terracotta falling off in the 70s because of how terribly it aged. That’s part of why it looks like the disney castle now


The Woolworth is litterally CONSTANTLY under renovation🤣 kinda annoying


Ladies and gentlemen… we got him.

The tax photos of the 1940s are digitalized and released to the public.

This is absolutely incredible and insane.

my life will forever be so much easier.

Here are a few I’ll share.

Guaranty Trust Building

Tall 92 Liberty Street

Bourne Building

World Building

Legendary Black Building

Mutual Life Building

98 Liberty Street by Church St

30 Pine Street

The secretive 39 Chambers

All of them are here. There are pictures of every building c. 1940.