It Looked Familiar: Frozen In Time

The world of “Joe Golem” is quite weird. The story takes place in the 1960s and 70s, after an unexplained earthquake of some kind in 1925 lowered New York so much that the streets are canals. The picture above is not labelled but is easy to place: the red-brick castle is the 1877 Jefferson Market Courthouse on Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village. The tall tan building to the left with the green roof is the jail that was built at the same time, and the low buildings on the lower left are Jefferson Market. That’s the Sixth Avenue el, demolished in 1939 in the lower right corner. The market and jail were demolished in 1927 and replaced by a larger jail which was then demolished in the 1970s. Here’s a photo from 1905, looking southwest rather than northwest, so that the jail is behind the courthouse and the market is on the left:

Whatever photo was used as the source for the comic was properly chosen: if New York had stopped changing in 1925, the 1877 prison and the el would both still be there in 1970.

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