Why did Strand take this picture? In 1951 he told his friend Walter Rosenblum that “he was trying to photograph the rushing to work … physical movement expressed by the abstract spotting of people and shapes.” By stepping back, Strand surveys the ceaseless bustle of the business class, never stopping to enjoy the present, caught in the commercial flow of metropolitan life. City Hall Park, as a transit hub, becomes a non-park, no longer doing what Progressive Era urban planners such as Jacob Riis intended parks to do. (http://blog.fotomuseum.ch/2015/02/2-reading-strands-new-york-photographs-city-hall-park/)
Oliphant, Dave, and Thomas Zigal. Perspectives on Photography: Essays on the Work of Du Camp, Dancer, Robinson, Stieglitz, Strand & Smithers at the Humanities Research Center. Austin: Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin, 1982. p. 103
Pollack, P. The Picture History of Photography: From the Earliest Beginnings to the Present Day. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc, 1998.p. 252.
Stieglitz, Alfred, Richard Whelan, and Sarah Greenough. Stieglitz on Photography: His Selected Essays and Notes. New York, NY: Aperture Foundation, 2000. p. 222