Madison Square Garden 1879 - 1968

The current Madison Square Garden above Penn Station is the fourth entertainment arena with that name in New York City. The Garden's roots trace back to the northeast corner of Madison Square, where the first building was built in 1879. 

Madison Square Garden I (1879 - 1890)

Madison Square Garden I. Click to enlarge.  Click here to order a print of this photograph

Madison Square Garden II (1890 - 1925)

Madison Square Garden II. Click to enlarge. Click here to order a print

Click to enlarge. Click here to order a print

Click to enlarge. Click here to order a print

Madison Square Garden II tower with Sculpture of Diana. Click to enlarge. Click here to order a print

Madison Square Garden III

Madison Square Garden III. NYC URBANISM Historic Postcard Collection. Click to enlarge. Click here to order a print

Located on Eighth Avenue between 49th and 50th streets, the arena was built in 1925 and took the name from the original Gardens which were located on Madison Square. Unlike its ornate predecessor built by the famous architect Stanford White, the 1925 MSG was a plain box-shaped building which held over 18,000 spectators. Despite its simple appearance the Garden had many notable events in its 40-year career. A year after its opening in 1926, the Garden’s owner Tex Rickard started an NHL franchise to play in the arena along with his current successful team, the New York Americans. The origin of the new hockey team’s name came from the owner, dubbed Tex’s Rangers but soon became known simply as the New York Rangers. Other notable events include the first NBA game in 1925. In 1968 the Garden was moved to the current venue above the original Pennsylvania Railroad Station and the structure on Eighth Avenue was torn down. Despite plans to build the world’s tallest building, the lot stood vacant, used as a parking lot until Worldwide Plaza was built in 1989.

 

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Madison Square Garden (1890)
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Photograph of the second Madison Square Garden, designed by Sanford White and built in 1890. 

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Adam Thalenfeld