Classic Inwood: Wurts Brothers Photography

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Dyckman House, Broadway and West 204th Street, 1931, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
Dyckman House, Broadway and West 204th Street, 1931, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.

In 1894 brothers Lionel and Norman Wurts founded an architectural photography firm in New York City.

Broadway and Exchange Place. Norman Wurts making photos from 4th-story ledge on Exchange Court Building, 1937. Museum of the City of New York.
Broadway and Exchange Place. Norman Wurts making photos from 4th-story ledge on Exchange Court Building, 1937. Museum of the City of New York.
 Richard Wurts, ca. 1939,  with his photograph of World’s Fair. Museum of the City of New York.
Richard Wurts, ca. 1939, with his photograph of World’s Fair. Museum of the City of New York.

Over an eighty-five-year span the brothers, and later Lionel’s son, Richard, photographed New York City landmarks for a host of important clients.

Wurts Brothers Signs. Ca. 1919. Museum of the City of New York.
Wurts Brothers Signs. Ca. 1919. Museum of the City of New York.

Their vast body of work includes images of the Woolworth building under construction, stunning interiors of the old Penn Station as well as more modest structures including the old Dyckman farmhouse on the northern end of Manhattan.

The images below were captured by the Wurts Brothers in the Inwood section of Manhattan.

Dyckman Street and Broadway, 1945, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
Dyckman Street and Broadway, 1945, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
West 201st Street and Harlem River. United Electric Light and Power, 1919, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
West 201st Street and Harlem River. United Electric Light and Power, 1919, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
School of the Good Shepherd, general exterior, Isham Street, 1925, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
School of the Good Shepherd, general exterior, Isham Street, 1925, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
School of the Good Shepherd, classroom, interior, 1925, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
School of the Good Shepherd, classroom, interior, 1925, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
Park Terrace Gardens, 1941, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
Park Terrace Gardens, 1941, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
Park Terrace Gardens, 1941, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
Park Terrace Gardens, 1941, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
Park Terrace Gardens, 1941, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
Park Terrace Gardens, 1941, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
Kingsbridge Power House, 1905, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
Kingsbridge Power House, 1905, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
Jewish Memorial Hospital, West 196th Street and Broadway, Source: NYPL.
Jewish Memorial Hospital, West 196th Street and Broadway, Source: NYPL.
Dyckman Street and Broadway. Old Mt. Washington Presbyterian Church, general interior, 1928, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
Dyckman Street and Broadway. Old Mt. Washington Presbyterian Church, general interior, 1928, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
Dyckman Street and Broadway. Old Mt. Washington Presbyterian Church, 1915, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
Dyckman Street and Broadway. Old Mt. Washington Presbyterian Church, 1915, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
CKG Billings Estate, now part of Fort Tryon Park, 1913, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
CKG Billings Estate, now part of Fort Tryon Park, 1913, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
CKG Billings Estate, now part of Fort Tryon Park, 1913, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
CKG Billings Estate, now part of Fort Tryon Park, 1913, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
4761 Broadway at the N.E. corner of Dyckman Street. The Broadyke, apartments, 1929, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
4761 Broadway at the N.E. corner of Dyckman Street. The Broadyke, apartments, 1929, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
520 West 218th Street at the corner of Park Terrace East, 1929, Wurts Brothers, Source MCNY
520 West 218th Street at the corner of Park Terrace East, 1929, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
West 215th through 216th Streets, east of Broadway, 1937, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
West 215th through 216th Streets, east of Broadway, 1937, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
91 Arden Street. Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, school addition, 1950, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.
91 Arden Street. Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, school addition, 1950, Wurts Brothers, Source: MCNY.

Today the Museum of the City of New York retains some 45,000 Wurts Brothers photographs and negatives. Many of them can be viewed online.

2 COMMENTS

  1. the picture that they’re saying as SE corner of Dyckman is the NE corner where Shultie’s used to be. Bickford’s had entrances on both Dyckman, east of B’way and on B’way north of Dyckman.

  2. In the 1950s there used to be a taxi stand in the north side of Dyckman Street just east of Broadway, by the subway exit, and right in front of Bickford’s. One Saturday app dawn on Oct 4, 1958 my father and I got a taxi parked there in order to go to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx early to stand in line for bleacher tickets for that afternoon’s World Series game between the NY Yankees and the Milwaukee Braves

    Tom Bourke

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