Lincoln’s funeral procession passing Cornelius Roosevelt’s house, 25 April 1865
Some readers will remember this post from early January. I am posting it again this morning to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral procession passing through New York. Young Theodore Roosevelt and his brother Elliott were in the second story window watching the ceremony. Needless to say this is going to be a big part of my interp today. Today also happens to be my final day at the Roosevelt Birthplace. It is closing for an extensive renovation on May 1.
A few of us got talking yesterday afternoon at the TRB about the famous image of Theodore and Elliott watching Lincoln’s funeral from their grandparents’ window. This is a well-known photograph and very much part of both the Lincoln and Roosevelt iconography. Still, I had always had trouble visualizing the exact spot, in part because Broadway does not run a straight line but cuts diagonally through Union Square. It’s hard to visualize but the southwest corner of Broadway stands adjacent to the northeast corner of the southern tip of Union Square. See what I mean?
Anyways I printed out a NYT article about a building that stands today on this same property. Oddly enough, one of the rangers just wrote a Facebook post about 841 Broadway that will appear in the next week or so. With printed article in hand and a few scribbled notes I headed out after the 1:00 tour to get to the bottom of things.
My water-logged article, complete with faulty map of Broadway
Looking south from Union Square, 14th Street and Broadway. Cornelius and Margaret Roosevelt’s house stood where the glass, white building is today.
Here is the view looking north from 13th Street and Broadway.
The building here in the foreground was built on the Roosevelt property in the 1890s. For more, here is a link to the article I pictured above. When I got back one of the rangers and I began investigating on Google maps and figured the funeral image was taken south of where I took this photo. I intend to do more digging but the Lincoln/Roosevelt photograph was taken at approximately 838 Broadway. If you know this area, that would be just north of the Strand Bookstore.
A detail on 841 Broadway:. Look closely above the arch. On the left is an R and on the right a B, which stand for Roosevelt Building. Yes, that is falling snow that you see.
(funeral image/Dickinson State University and NPS)