Newspaper Row - The Traveller


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Monday, September 7, 2015

Newspaper Row


Newspaper Row/Park Row – Home of NY World Newspaper

Newspaper Row or Park Row as it is presently known was considered as the home of most of New York City’s newspapers in the 19th century and the buildings accommodated the New York World newspaper, The New York Tribune and The New York Times, were the first paper in the city which moved in the building that was especially built for that purpose when it moved in 1958 to 41 Park Row.

As news continues to make its way all over the world, it could have been hard to imagine that the publishing industry had been at the epicentre of the world’s most important architectural achievements. Indication of how important Newspaper Row seemed to be at the time, The New York World Building was the first structure in the city to exceed the height of Trinity Church.

Besides this it was also the world’s tallest building from 1890 to 1894. The 16 storey, 309 foot building at 99 Park Row was topped by a copper dome with the office of Joseph Pulitzer inside. This semi-circular office had three windows with clear views to Brooklyn, Governor’s Island and Long Island, with ceiling frescoes and embossed leather lining the walls.

Greatest Newspaper Building in the World

Moreover, in the dome, there was also another office for Pulitzer’s brother-in-law, with a library and a conference room. The New York World signalled its own building as `The Greatest Newspaper Building in the World’.

Towards late 19th century, a collection of buildings near and along Park Row in the proximity of those busy news engines such as City Hall and the city’s courts accommodated almost all daily newspaper in town like The Herald, The Sun, The Tribune, The World, The Journal and The Times. Tough editors and publishers such as Charles Anderson Dana and Joseph Pulitzer dominated over newsrooms where gaslight had been shifted to electric and spittoons, hand-cranked telephones as well as suspenders were still common.

 Several of the city’s commerce as well as the government together with its housing were within blocks of these newspapers and reporters found it easy to arrive at the scene of a story within a short span of time, either by foot, horse, car or the new elevated steam trains that were being developed for a booming and a self-important city with a million and a half inhabitants.

Era & Its Charm Captured in Park Row

History written by Allen Churchill in 1958, `the era and its charm captured in Park Row, portray `Newspaper Row of the day was populated by redoubtable figure who wrote noble, Shakespeare-tinted prose about routine fires or edited copy with diminishing whiskey bottle close at hand, ‘ which he wrote in a flair of exaggeration.

Eight dailies were crowded on the narrow, twisted area of Washington Street in downtown Boston known as `Newspaper Row’. Eight was quite a number and difficult for each other with regards to space and circulation. The Boston papers cultivated their traditional patter of frantic promotion, careless reporting and showy makeup.

The dailies eventually moved out over a period of time till only the Globe was left on Newspaper Row. For 86 years, daily, an employee of the Globe would climb a ladder propped against the building and post headlines on it.

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