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This view north along Amsterdam Avenue on the Upper West Side in New York was likely to have been painted shortly after the opening of the Beacon Hotel, which still sits today on the corner of Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. The hotel was named after the airway beacon that sat atop a steel tower on the hotel’s roof, the largest candle-powered light in the world at the time of its opening in July 1928. Used to help aeroplane pilots navigate along a specified airway corridor, approximately 1,500 beacons were constructed between 1923 and 1933 to guide pilots from city to city across America. However, from 1929, the visual system of beacons began to be replaced by low frequency radio navigation.