Skaters at Sara D. Roosevelt Park, 1935. Courtesy New York City Parks Photo Archive
6sqft’s series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, we take a look back at New York City’s ice skating history just days before the Museum of the City of New York’s “New York on Ice” exhibit opens to the public. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
There are few New York winter activities more iconic than ice skating. The rink, the blades, the gliding people attempting to balance – the elements of the pastime are minimal, and so the pictures of it over the centuries are not so very different despite the decades.
On view this Wednesday through April 2018, the Museum of the City of New York will be hosting an exhibit titled “New York on Ice: Skating in the City” featuring many of the images below of ice skating in NYC from the 1800s to the present day. In addition to paintings, postcards, and vintage photographs, the exhibit will also showcase costumes, posters, and more.
Speed-skating race at The Lake, Central Park, ca. 1928. Courtesy New York City Parks Photo Archive
Mayor John V. Lindsay and Commissioner Thomas Hoving at Lasker Rink and Pool, Central Park, 1966. Courtesy New York City Parks Photo Archive
Photographer unknown. Wollman Rink, Central Park, ca. 1955. Museum of the City of New York, gift of the Department of Parks and Recreation
Skaters at Lasker Rink, 1967. Courtesy New York City Parks Photo Archive
Kate Wollman Memorial Rink at Prospect Park, 1961. Courtesy New York City Parks Photo Archive
Flooded ballpark with skaters, Central Park, 1938. Courtesy New York City Parks Photo Archive
Photographer unknown. Flooded ballpark with skaters, Central Park, 1938. Courtesy New York City Parks Photo Archive
Tea Room – The Biltmore Ice Gardens, ca. 1915-1919. Byron Co.Museum of the City of New York, Byron Company Collection.
A tea room adjacent to the Ice Gardens at the Biltmore Hotel on Madison Avenue and 43rd Street. The ice skaters on the righthand side of the photograph are drawn in.
The Biltmore Ice Gardens, ca. 1915. Byron Co. Museum of the City of New York, Byron Company Collection
Season ticket for admission to Fifth Avenue skating pond issued to Miss Isabel Place, 1863. Museum of the City of New York, gift of Miss Florence S. Sullivan
G. E. Jones, Publisher. Carnival of the Washington Skating Club, Brooklyn. February 10, 1862. Museum of the City of New York, gift of Mr. Harry Shaw Newman and an Anonymous Donor
Major & Knapp Engraving, Manufacturing & Lithographic Co., printer. Empire City Skating Rink (63rd Street and 3rd Avenue), ca. 1868. Museum of the City of New York, The J. Clarence Davies Collection
Thomas & Eno, lithographer. Union Pond, Williamsburgh, L.I., ca. 1863. Museum of the City of New York, The J. Clarence Davies Collection.
This hand-colored lithograph of Williamsburg’s Union Pond reminds us that, yes, Brooklyn is technically part of Long Island.
Postcard of Thomas Healy’s Golden Glades, Ice Ballet Extravaganza and Midnight Parade, ca. 1916. Via MCNY, Collection of Michael V. Susi
Thomas Healy’s Golden Glades was a four-story restaurant at Columbus Avenue and West 66th Street, with two basement “dungeons.”
John O’Brien Inman “Moonlight Skating – Central Park – The Terrace and the Lake,” ca. 1878. Oil on canvas. Museum of the City of New York, Anonymous Gift
Count Jean de Strelecki. Charlotte in “Hip! Hip! Hooray!” 1915. Museum of the City of New York, gift of Leonie Sigrist
In 1915, “Hip! Hip! Hooray!” was the hot new Broadway play, and its lead, shown above, was a 17-year-old skater billed only as Charlotte, according to IceStage Archive.
Jake Forbes’s New York Americans sweater, 1925–26. Courtesy Hockey Hall of Fame
The New York Americans were a professional National Hockey League team formerly known as the Brooklyn Americans.
Red Dutton’s skates, ca. 1930. Courtesy Hockey Hall of Fame.