Thursday, January 7, 2016

Street View, Then & Now: New York City's Fifth Avenue from a Century Ago vs. Today

The New York Public Library has recently released even more digitized images from their vast collection, including more than 180,000 in the public domain. With this public domain remix, you can compare the photos from the 1911 Fifth Avenue from Start to Finish collection with 2015's Google Street View.

Near Washington Square Park, looing west from 5th Avenue, down West 8th Street. In the 1911 photo, the building at left is a private residence, at right, an office of the Edison Company. (Top: New York Public Library, Bottom: © Google, Inc.)

West 20th Street, where the corner building remains intact, just a change of tenants from a store to buy trunks, and a publisher, to a sporting goods store and clothing store. (Top: New York Public Library, Bottom: © Google, Inc.)

Looking down West 36th Street, the private residences and shops at right have been replaced by a modern building, while most of the arches of the building at left remain visible, despite a new facade on the 5th Avenue side. Note the heights of the newer buildings looking down 36th. (Top: New York Public Library, Bottom: © Google, Inc.)

A workman stands in front of a distinctive set of 3 arched windows on 5th Avenue, between East 38th and East 39th Street. In 1911, the shops were, from left, Knabe Piano Co., Benson and Hedges Tobacconists, Hardman Piano Co., John M. Crapo Linens, Ludwig Schultze Interior Decorations, and Siebrecht, a florist. In the 2014 view, from left, Payless Shoes, a new bakery under construction, Prima Donna clothing, GNC nutrition store, and a Sleepy's mattress store. (Top: New York Public Library, Bottom: © Google, Inc.)

At West 40th Street, the brand new New York Public Library Building. The building opened to the public for the first time on May 23, 1911. The 2014 view has become obscured by trees. (Top: New York Public Library, Bottom: © Google, Inc.)

St. Patrick’s Cathedral at East 51st Street. In 1911 the building at left was the Union Club. Today it houses luxury jewelry and clothing stores. (Top: New York Public Library, Bottom: © Google, Inc.)

Between West 55th and West 56th Street, the the entryway of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church (at left), has undergone a bit of a facelift. It’s neighboring building remain largely intact as well. (Top: New York Public Library, Bottom: © Google, Inc.)

Looking down East 57th Street, what were almost all private residences in 1911 have now been replaced with large commercial and retail buildings. (Top: New York Public Library, Bottom: © Google, Inc.)

At East 61st Street, across the avenue from Central Park (see the reflections in both photos). Again, mostly private residences back in 1911. (Top: New York Public Library, Bottom: © Google, Inc.)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The museum opened in 1872—29 years before this top photo was taken. Numerous additions have been made in the century since. (Top: New York Public Library, Bottom: © Google, Inc.)

At East 91st Street, the residence of Andrew Carnegie. Today, the Carnegie Mansion remains, and is the home of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. (Top: New York Public Library, Bottom: © Google, Inc.)

In 1911, Fifth Ave at East 93rd Street was home to a number of billboards touting stage performances, bacon, whiskey, and a speedometer. At right, a private residence. Today, nothing remains from either side of the street. (Top: New York Public Library, Bottom: © Google, Inc.)

(via The Atlantic)

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