Uptown garden


“Artist’s uptown residence,” New York City, ca. 1860, via Robert Dennis Collection of Stereoscopic Views, New York Public Library.

Detail from above image.

Upper Manhattan at this time was rapidly transforming from country to city — as villages and small farms became blocks of middle-class rowhouses. This backyard, with its neat latticed sitting area and then large cabbage garden, seems to encapsulate the change.

Detail.

Unfortunately, we don’t have the name of the artist or the address. Is he one of the two men in top hats sitting by the door, or was she standing in front of them, balancing a small boy on the fence — or maybe taking the picture?

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