From the left of the image shows a hole from the subway construction, with trolley cars moving pass the photographer. In the middle of the frame the sidewalk is cracked (probably from explosions during construction), as people look towards the camera. To the right of the frame brownstones stand with wall paper, flats to rent, a tailors shop, etc., store fronts with beautiful rod iron gates in front of them.
Construction started on the first Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) company line in 1900. The trains ran from City Hall, north to 125th Street, and opened on July 17, 1918.