The Great Blizzard of 1888 was snow joke!

Madison Avenue
Blizzards are not new to NYC.  We have persevered through many a storm. But none with such a surprise attack as that of the Great Blizzard of 1888. And no blizzard has had such a happy end result. Here's the story:

The weekend of March 9th, 1888 was unseasonably warm.  A balmy Saturday was followed by a drizzly Sunday, and New Yorkers were looking forward to an early Spring.   No one was prepared for what happened that Monday, March 11.  A blizzard moved in,  accompanied by 85 mile an hour winds, creating snow drifts of up to 20 feet high.

Trolleys stuck on the Brooklyn Bridge
In just under 24 hours, 21 inches of snow fell bringing the city to a standstill.  Subzero temps froze the East River, and commuters --unable to take the trolleys paralyzed by the storm -- walked between Brooklyn and Manhattan on the frozen river.

Despite the hardships caused by the storm that crippled the city for 14 days, one good thing came out of it:  so severe was the damage to overhead telegraph, electric and telephone wires, that New York's Mayor Grant ordered all overhead wires to be buried. 
The result? A beautiful city that remains uncluttered by cables that once criss-crossed throughout the streets like in the photo below.

  Looking south on Park Row site of the former domed beauty,
the Old City Hall Post Office,built in 1880 and demolished in 1939.