America’s Gilded Age, defined as roughly the 1870s to 1900, represented a period of vast wealth and vast corruption, a time when the economy of the United States was rapidly expanding, immigrants were streaming into the country, labor rights activists were organizing, and farmers were revolting. In New York City, the Gilded Age was a time when the fabulous wealth of newly minted industrial titans like John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie was on full display.
In 2013, the Museum of the City of New York debuted Gilded New York, an ongoing exhibition exploring this period in the city’s history. And now it’s an app.
The museum’s first app is a virtual walking tour of New York City through time. You can compare present-day New York City landmarks to what they looked like in the late 1800s. The app also lets you explore images of some of the 100 Gilded Age objects on display in the exhibit and read detailed histories of people and places like William Vanderbilt and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Here are just a few time-traveling destinations in the app:
The home of J.P. Morgan, Jr., now the Morgan Library and Museum (with a building addition by Renzo Piano) Left: 1912 ; Right: 2014. Image Credits: Library of Congress; Harlan Erskine.
The Plaza Hotel. Left: 1907; Right: 2014. Image Credits: The Byron Company courtesy the Museum of the City of New York, 22.214.171.12466; Harlan Erskine.
The one-time headquarters of Lord and Taylor is currently home to a Brooks Brothers and an Equinox. Left: 1908; Right: 2014. Image Credits: Museum of the City of New York X2010.7.1.4016; Harlan Erskine.
The Siegel-Cooper department store, now home to Bed, Bath & Beyond, Marshalls and T.J. Maxx. Left: 1896; Right: 2014. Image Credits: Byron Company courtesy the Museum of the City of New York 126.96.36.19954; Harlan Erskine
[h/t Curbed New York]
All images courtesy the Museum of the City of New York.