Murder, Politics and Architecture: The Making of Madison Square Park

Madison Square Park officially opened to the public in 1847. Edwin Levick/Archive Photos, via Getty Images
The Flatiron Building, completed in 1902, anchors Madison Square Park to the south. Detroit Publishing Company, via Library of Congress
One of the early buildings in Madison Square Park was a home for juvenile delinquents. It relocated to Randall’s Island in 1854. George Hayward, via New York Public Library
In the 1830s, the area around Madison Square was considered so remote that Corporal Thompson’s Roadhouse (also known as Madison Cottage) at 23rd Street, the last stop for stagecoaches to and from the city, was still open for business. Above, an 1850 cattle show at the Roadhouse. Guy Loring, via Museum of the City of New York
The Knickerbocker Base Ball Club, also pictured with members of the Brooklyn Excelsior Base Ball Club, in 1858. In 1842 the Knickerbockers started playing near what is now known as Madison Square Park, but moved to Hoboken, N.J., a few years later. via New York Public Library
A view from 1896 of Fifth Avenue at 26th Street, showing Delmonico’s Restaurant. Byron Company, via Museum of the City of New York
Disguised in dirty clothes, with his mustache lathered with soap, the Rev. Dr. Charles H. Parkhurst, pastor of the Madison Square Presbyterian Church, led a group of detectives to collect evidence of the “rottenness” festering in some 254 saloons. Hulton Archive, via Getty Images
Opening night (1853) at Franconi’s Hippodrome, which had seating for 10,000 spectators. via New York Public Library
The first Madison Square Garden, circa 1879-1890. Geo. P. Hall & Son/The New York…

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