Friday, September 14, 2012

Classic Photos of Downtown New York

Here are classic landscape photos of Lower Manhattan, where 400 years ago New York was born — in photographs made in the decades before the Twin Towers anchored the foot of the island. Wall Street, Battery Park, New York Harbor, the Brooklyn Bridge, Trinity Church, the Statue of Liberty — they’re all here: landmarks that, despite everything, retain their place in the collective imagination, captured by some of the finest photographers of the 20th century.

A German zeppelin appears to float above the Woolworth Building in 1928

The Brooklyn Bridge and the Lower Manhattan skyline seen from the East River, 1937

An aerial view, from the south, of Lower Manhattan, Governor's Island, the harbor, the Hudson and East Rivers and New York City's surroundings, 1939

The Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline, 1939

Aerial view of the Lower West Side of Manhattan, Battery Park and the waterfront, 1939

The New York Aquarium in Battery Park, 1939. The aquarium currently resides in Coney Island, Brooklyn



View of the Lower Manhattan skyline as seen from the roof of the Hotel Bossert ("the Waldorf-Astoria of Brooklyn") on Montague Street in Brooklyn, 1943

Pedestrians walk down Nassau Street past the Federal Reserve Building, 1944. The New York Stock Exchange can be glimpsed at the foot of the image.

Tangled streamers and confetti thrown by people celebrating the end of the war in Europe litter headstones and the grounds of Trinity Church's venerable cemetery at the foot of Wall Street, 1945.

Celebrating the end of the Second World War in Europe, Lower Manhattan, 1945

Birds-eye view of Lower Manhattan looking southeast towards Battery Park with Ellis Island beyond and the New Jersey waterfront in the distance, 1945.

An aerial view of Battery Park and out across the sunlit waters of New York Harbor, 1946

Lower Manhattan as seen from across the Hudson River, 1946

Lower Manhattan and beyond as seen from the rooftop of a building on Staten Island, 1946

Freighters in the East River, 1946

The Brooklyn Bridge and, beyond, the skyline of Lower Manhattan, 1948

The Brooklyn Bridge arches toward Lower Manhattan, 1948

Men unload coffee at a Brooklyn dock with Lower Manhattan visible in the background, 1949

Lower Manhattan in the fog, 1950

Trinity Church, Lower Manhattan, 1962

Aerial view of Manhattan with the new, nearly completed World Trade Center's Twin Towers dominating the southern rim of the island, 1971.

Aboard the Staten Island Ferry with the Twin Towers rising in the background, 1971

Alfred Eisenstaedt's 1983 portrait of the Twin Towers, taken from across the East River and beneath the Brooklyn Bridge

(Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

1 comment:

  1. For shots taken without the benefit of modern Canon Cameras, those are pretty good. This just goes to show that the skill of the photographer is more important than the capabilities of the camera.

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