The Roaring 20’s of the United States affected many areas of the country, but none so intensely as, perhaps, New York City. This elaborate decade brought art, music, culture and growth to this major east-coast city, helping to establish it as one of the iconic locations across the entire United States.
In the 1920’s, New York City was growing up – and it was growing fast. Skyscrapers, schools, parks, playgrounds and commercial buildings were quickly constructed in the fast-paced city. Certain areas were entirely torn down and rebuilt; in fact, there was a complete reconstruction of Seventh Avenue during this time, featuring a loft building that still stands to this day. Walkers on the sidewalk of this booming city would be quickly passed by new Ford Model Ts, a popular and affordable car manufactured by the famous Ford Motor Company. However, a bombing on Wall Street marred the dawn of this great age on New York City. This infamous, unsolved attack left nearly 40 dead and over a hundred wounded, and was the most extreme act of terror ever witnessed in the U.S. prior to the end of the 1920’s.
Prohibition was another significant part of 1920’s New York, which led to a large underground bootlegging that helped contribute to New York’s nefarious crime-riddled reputation. Gangsters, having already long plagued the city, were hard at work throughout the decade. In many ways, illegal liquor transportation was the backbone of the Mafia’s growth during this era, and the official start of long-lasting criminal lords in New York City.
Art boomed in the 1920’s, from painting to architecture to music. Beautiful images of Central Station, the Williamsburg Bridge and dozens of other locations are preserved in stunning paintings from a wide variety of American artists. New York landscapes were even part of the inspiration for the Precisionism movement, which blended Cubism and Futurism. Schools of sculpture were established in the city in 1920, and many monuments were produced during the decade – including a sculpture of famous sled dog, Balto. Literature skyrockets as the men and women of the famous Algonquin Round Table inspire intelligent discussion on 1920’s books written by Ernest Hemingway and other great authors. The Harlem Renaissance also swept through New York at this time, providing historic black authors and artists and infecting New York with jazz music. This was quickly accompanied by the Flapper Age, a fashion movement that showcased girls with short hair and slim, loosely clothed figures.
New York City developed a great deal in the 1920’s, and prior to the impact of the Great Depression, it was one of the most successful, rich, artistic and profitable areas of the country.