Monday, January 10, 2011

LINK: Hammerstein's Victoria and Rooftop Garden

Carnegie: Magic Detective goes in search of one of Houdini's favorite venues.

Hammerstein's Victoria and Rooftop Garden


  1. It's always interesting, when reading about prices and wages in the past, to wonder what an equivalent amount would be in today's money.

    Apparently, a dollar in 1900 is worth about $26.40 today, based on looking at consumer prices for similar items.

    On the other hand, a dollar in 1900 is equal to about $122 today in wages for unskilled labor.

    To find web sites, Google value of money.

  2. Ah, funny you should mention this, Eric, I've been trying to find what the price of 278 would be in today's money. Houdini bought it in 1904 for $25,000. Kalush says this was equivalent to $2.5 million in 2005. But what about today? Thanks for the Google tip.

  3. gives a full discussion of the issues, with a calculating tool.

  4. Well, I don't know how Kalush and Sloman arrived at $2.5 million. The site shows the CPI of $25,000 as being $621,000. I think they must have calculated it as an equivalent wage. Very helpful site. Thanks again.

  5. Hard to say with real estate. It's much different from other consumer prices. Especially hard to calculate real estate in NYC. Can you buy a rats nest in NYC for $621,000 today?

    What is even the correct question to ask? Is it: What would it cost to buy a brownstone like that in NYC today? Or, should the question be: What would it would cost today to buy a new house of that size?

    And what about the neighborhood's effect on the property value. In Houdini's time, it was a prosperous German neighborhood, wasn't it? Is it a low-income area today?

  6. Good points. Yes, back in Houdini's day it was considered a prosperous German neighborhood. Not so now, but the area has improved in recent years. I'm going to post up a story soon on 278. Watch for it. :)