An Easter floral display at Bradshaw & Hartman, New York City, between 1900 and 1905, by Detroit Publishing Co., via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (both photos).
I found this advertisement in The Weekly Florists Review, Vol. 12, 1903:
Geo. E. Bradshaw John R. Hartman
53 West 28th Street, New York
Telephone 1239 Madison Square
Mention the Review when you write.
The current building at 53 W. 28th Street seems to be the same one in these pictures.
There have been flower wholesalers on this section of 28th Street since the 1890s, according to this interesting article in The Economist.
Children climbing on monkey bars in Central Park playground, New York City, October 1942, by Marjory Collins, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
During the early 1940s, Collins recorded American life on the home front for the U.S. Office of War Information. At the time of this photo, she was following the Wynn children, Janet and Marie, (lower left) for a project on Czech-American immigrants.
“Children’s roof garden,” Metropolitan Hospital Training School for Nurses on Blackwell’s Island (now Roosevelt Island), New York City, between 1915 and 1920, by Bain News Service, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
Click on the image for a larger view.
Raising the Madison Square Christmas tree, ca. 1912 or 1913, New York City, by Bain News Service, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (all photos here).
The park is located at Fifth Avenue and Broadway at 23rd Street.
Madison Square may have been* the site of the first illuminated community Christmas tree in America — lit on December 24, 1912.
The tradition is continued today by the Madison Square Park Conservancy.
Light is a dancer here and cannot rest.
No tanagers or jays are half so bright
As swarms of fire that deep in fragrance nest
In jungles of the gilt exotic night. . .
— John Frederick Nims, from “Christmas Tree“
*There may have been two prior illuminated community trees: in San Diego in 1904 and Pasadena in 1909.
Tompkins Square Park, East Village, New York City, 1967, by James Jowers, via George Eastman House Commons on flickr.
Tompkins Square Park . . . was reconstructed [in the mid 1960s,] just in time for an era of sweeping changes. The surrounding neighborhood became the east coast version of ‘Haight-Ashbury.’ Rock musicians, poets, hippies, and political activists transformed downtown Manhattan into a center for counter-cultural activities and political protest. It was during the mid- to late-1960s that the area surrounding Tompkins Square Park came to be called ‘The East Village.’ . . .
Tompkins Square had once before been the site of powerful expressions of joy and rebellion. A century earlier, German-Americans had transformed the square with their volkefestes and mass demonstrations. Their spirit and command of the space were being revived— only now in 1960s terms. Young people demonstrated at the bandshell against American involvement in Vietnam and in favor of women’s and third world liberation movements. They gathered to hear bandshell concerts put on by the Fugs, the Grateful Dead and Charles Mingus. They were certainly ignoring signs that cautioned ‘keep off the grass.’ . . .
— Laurel Van Horn, from “A History of Tompkins Square Park“