Tuesday, 10 February 2009


The location and structure of Madison Square Garden is akin to a 'moving feast' or a 'progressive supper' namely 'all over town', although, perhaps it has not had as many homes as Senator John McCain. The first structure was built by William Vanderbilt and opened on May 31, 1879 (see above) at 26th Street and Madison Avenue. The sporting hall was drafty and dirty and primarily featured boxing matches - boxing champion John Sullivan drew massive crowds to the arena. Ten years later, in 1889,Vanderbilt pulled the building down because it was losing money.

Horse Show Association officials replaced the building with another Madison Square Garden - a Moorish-style building (above) designed by Stanford White that cost $3 million to build and was the second tallest structure in the city. The facility was used for bicycle races, horse and dog shows, long distance athletic races, boxing matches, and political rallies. The building continued to lose money until 1920, when Tex Rickard leased the building for boxing matches. He brought in £5 million in five years (his lease was $200,000 a year) and featured rodeos, the circus, athletic races, and bicycle races.

Rickard moved Madison Square Garden to 50th Street and Eighth Avenue in 1925 with new features such as New York Rangers hockey games (see poster above) and ice shows. The building remained profitable in spite of the depression.

In order to improve and add to the range of facilities available, Madison Square Garden was moved to Pennsylvania Station at West 34th Street and Eighth Avenue in 1968 at a cost of $116 million (above).
With around 20,000 seats the 'Garden' is the premier music and sporting venue in New York City. Musical shows and concerts take place in the adjacent Paramount Theater, where A Christmas Carol has become an annual fixture.Sporting events include basketball and ice hockey, and both the New York Knicks and New York Rangers call the 'Garden' their home.

No comments: