I was having a little dig through the New York Public Library Flickr archives today and found an album of photographs taken by Berenice Abbott between 1935-1938 called, “Changing New York“. These photos are part of her documentation of New York City for the Federal Art Project (FAP), which was a Depression-era government program for unemployed artists and workers in creative fields. I was curious to know how much of what she documented is still around today. And since I’m all the way over here in Paris, to feed my curiosity I retraced Berenice’s steps with the always handy Google Street View. So let’s follow her trail and see what’s left of ever-changing New York…
1. Palisade Ave, No.2505, Bronx
This grand old house is no longer at number 2505, but check out these neat buildings next door…
2. Blossom Restaurant, 103 Bowery Street
You won’t be finding an lamb oxtail stew at number 103 these days…
3. Water and Dock Streets, Brooklyn
Windows and doors are partially hiding the Yuban Coffee advertisement painted on it.
The sign may be gone but at least the buildings are still around. Here’s hoping they get nicely restored some day..
4. Sumner Healey Antiques Shop, 942, Third Avenue.
Sadly disappeared, replaced by a Radio Shack.
5. Washington Square North
Comfortingly still intact!
6. Radio Row, Cortland Street
Radio Row was torn down in 1966 to make room for the World Trade Center. It held several blocks of electronics stores, with Cortlandt Street as its central axis . The used radios, war surplus electronics, junk, and parts often piled so high they would spill out onto the street, attracting collectors and scroungers.
7. Jefferson Market Court
Still standing, now the New York Public library.
8. Barber School, 264 Bowery Street
I’m not sure whether number 264 is the fashion boutique or Globe Slicers, but the barber school that once stood here is long gone.
9. Joralemon Street, No.135
There it is, still tightly squeezed between two buildings.
10. Wood Frame Store on Bleeker and Christopher Street.
11. Broome Street, No. 512-514
What lies behind that black wall now?
12. Facade at 317 Broadway
They seem to have cut off half the building on the Broadway side, it appears to be vacant, at least on the ground floor and a McDonald’s can be seen in the reflection of the windows.
Find the full Changing New York album on Flickr.