14th Street with Union Square and Washington Monument
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Attributed to Silas A. Holmes
American, about 1855
Salt print from paper negative
12 1/4 x 15 7/8 in.

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A group of schoolboys gathered around the then-new monument of George Washington in Union Square looks directly at Silas A. Holmes's camera. Though this image depicts children, the monument was more frequently a rendezvous point for unemployed actors in the 1850s and 1860s. In the 1870s the area became the heart of the commercial entertainment district and then was graced with a newly landscaped green park. Monument House in the background, a home newly converted into a hotel, demonstrates that the neighboring private houses in this formerly fashionable district were also giving way to commercial establishments.