The Eldorado, Manhattan

One of the great horned buildings of Central Park West, the Eldorado was built in 1929/30. It inherited its name from the El Dorado, an apartment building that stood at the same spot since 1909. Garrison Keilor lived here for a time. The top of the northern tower hides the building’s water tank.

And as his strength

Failed him at length

He met a pilgrim shadow–

Shadow, said he

Where can it be–

This land of Eldorado?

Over the Mountains

Of the Moon

Down the Valley of Shadow

Ride, boldly ride

The shade replied–

If you seek for Eldorado

– Edgar Allan Poe

Map It

300 Central Park West

The NYC Hippodrome

Walking along 6th Ave between 43rd and 44th you might not notice number 1120, a midsized, 1950s glassy office building. Madmen’s Roger Sterling would look at home in the lobby.

But maybe you happen to catch sight of the building’s name: Hippodrome.

Unusual. Where does it come from?

It comes from the wonderous building, the Hippodrome Theatre,

that operated on this site from 1909 to 1939. It had 5,300 seats–more than today’s Met. Performing elephants and Harry Houdini graced the stage.

These photos of the old theater come from a display the New York Public Library mounted in the 47th-50th Street subway station, right by Rockefeller Center.