Dutcher, Harvey F.


American, 1876–1964


Harvey F. Dutcher was a commercial photographer based in Nyack in the early twentieth century, and was commissioned by wealthy financier Norvin H. Green to document the process of demolishing the Sixth Avenue El in the mid-1930s. Though a mainstay of New York City life, the "El," short for elevated railroad, was often criticized both for poor service and its heavy girders, which blocked air and light to the streets it traversed. The success of the municipally-owned IND subway line underground would signal the end of Manhattan’s system of elevated railroads, inaugurated in 1870. The Sixth Avenue El, running north from the Battery through Greenwich Village to 42nd Street, was the first to go. The city ordered its demolition in 1938, and work began the following year. In all, Dutcher produced over 4,000 views documenting every stage of the dismantling of the stations and overhead lines along Sixth Avenue in 1939, Ninth Avenue in 1940, and Second Avenue, as well as throughout Brooklyn, in 1941.

Artworks by Dutcher, Harvey F.

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