The view is to the north up Broadway on the left and Fifth Avenue on the right.
The large building on the left side is the Fifth Avenue Hotel which stood there from 1859 to 1908.**
The tower in the second photo adorns the old Madison Square Garden.
The photographer worked for the Detroit Publishing Co. which was famous for large-format shots such as the ones you see below.
The two photos that make up this panorama come from collections of the Library of Congress Prints and Photos Division. Here they are in high resolution jpg files. Click to enlarge.
Here are details from the two photos.
1. In this detail we are looking up Broadway. The clock tells us that is near noon. By the shadows you can tell the sun is directly overhead indicating that this day is one near the summer solstice. June 21 fell on a Wednesday that year and this is was probably taken that day or maybe the one before or after it. The many (many) trolley cars are powered by electric lines running under the street between the rails. There are horse drawn wagons, hansom cabs, and carriages. A mounted policeman speaks with a sanding one. Traffic is orderly and seems to be moving at a leisurely pace. Pedestrians use the street as well as the sidewalks.
2. You can see a street clock more clearly in this detail. The street lamp is electric, converted from gas. In those days as this one, New Yorkers seemed to prefer to wear black over any other color. The ticket taker on one of the trolley cars is standing on the running board.
3. It's a breezy day. In these windows of the Fifth Avenue Hotel you can see that a curtain blown out of an open window and people have let the awning cords flop loose.
4. A man sits on the hotel balcony observing the street scene below. I expect others will join him as the afternoon wears on and the building's shadow offers some shade.
5. Below the man on the balcony there's a pith-helmeted sanitation worker dressed in white, one of a vast crew known as white wings. You can see many gents taking their liesure under the awning of the hat store and the columned portico of the hotel.
5. The building that separates Broadway from Fifth Avenue sports a whiskey ad; behind it you see the familiar Cross logo used to advertise apartments and chambers.
6. The building that sports the whiskey sign belongs to Berlitz, which advertises its English classes more than its foreign language ones. The monument in front of it honors General william Jenkins Worth.
7. There's a set of real estate offices in Berlitz Building and in one window a woman observing the scene in General Worth Square below.
8. This detail shows Fifth Avenue from 23rd Street north toward 34th. You can see a couple of trees on the north west corner of Madison Square and by them a small open motor car.
9. Near the monument the mounted policeman speaks with a colleague.
10. On the other side of the monument — on the wide expanse of pavement where Fifth Avenue splits off from Broadway — we see a bicyclist, motor hansom cab, delivery wagon, and sundry pedestrians.
11. A bit to the south, where Broadway crosses Fifth, we see another motor hansom and a most unusual trackless trolley.
12. This shows part of a wire fence which creates a traffic-free space at Broadway and Fifth, a kind of a cab rank it appears.
13. Here are lots more hansom cabs parked on the west side of Madison Square along with a white horse hitched to a delivery wagon.
14. A close-up of horse and wagon.
15. Many New Yorkers are enjoying a quite noontime moment in the park.
16. A woman pushes a baby pram through the park.
Here are two other photos of Madison Square taken at about the same time. The first was taken on a day very similar to the one on which the panorama photos were taken; the second was shot during a winter snowstorm. The camera is facing south down Fifth Avenue in both shots (hence hotel is on the right). Like the pano shots, the two are from the Detroit Publishing Co. collection in LC.
* Here's a copy of this famous photo.
Here are two other contemporary photos of the Fuller Building from LC.
** More on the Fifth Avenue Hotel:
- Fifth Avenue : glances at the vicissitudes and romance of a world renowned thoroughfare, together with many rare illustrations that bring back an interesting past (Fifth Avenue Bank of New York, 1915)
- The Fifth Avenue Hotel, 1896 from the June 1896 issue of Ladies’ Home Journal
- Old New York on the Talkin' Broadway website
- FIFTH AVENUE HOTEL CLOSES AT MIDNIGHT, New York Times, Saturday, April 4, 1908. The subhead reads: "Odell and Platt Will Greet Their Friends in the "Amen Corner" To-day for the Last Time. EMPLOYES SAY GOOD-BYE Bids from All Over the Country Received for Fittings with Historic Associations."