What was located at the site of Madison Square Garden in New York City in the year 1850?

The location is between 7th and 8th avenues and between 32nd and 33rd streets. I have found an old map with some drawings of what look like buildings at that location, but I can't tell what they are. On the map, it appears that an Institute for the Blind was kitty corner to the current site of Madison Square Garden in 1850.

The reason I am asking is that I am writing a book which has a scene at this location in 1850 and I'd like it to be accurate if possible

1 Answer 1


Looks like there was some buildings but a lot of empty space, at least a couple of years later. The New York Public Library has fire insurance and property maps from the city and here is the block from 32nd to the North and it shows a mix of things, but mostly what looks like open lots.

If you want, you may be able to find some of the buildings around there by searching in City Directories from the years around it.

  • 6
    Maybe helpful to know: The current Madison Square Garden is not at Madison Square. Madison Square is at 5th Ave. & 23rd St. The entertainment venue kept its name when it moved to its current location above Penn Station.
    – Literalman
    Mar 8, 2019 at 14:35

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