The Third Avenue Railroad Depot

William H. Schenck American

Not on view

Schenck painted this precise representation of the Third Avenue Railroad Company’s new depot while serving as the company’s superintendent (1856–64). Completed in 1857 (and destroyed just four years later by fire), the handsome brick edifice was located on Third Avenue between 65th and 66th Streets in New York City. In addition to highlighting the contemporary popularity of the horse-drawn streetcar, Schenck also included a hot-air balloon in the sky, identified in tiny letters as the Atlantic. The balloon’s owners, John Wise and John LaMountain, hoped to fly it across the Atlantic Ocean to initiate an entirely new form of transportation, but they never succeeded.

The Third Avenue Railroad Depot, William H. Schenck (active ca. 1854–64), Oil on canvas, American

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