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March 13, 2021

New York During the 1970s Through Fascinating Black and White Photos

Reeling from a decade of social turmoil, New York in the 1970s fell into a deep tailspin provoked by the flight of the middle class to the suburbs and a nationwide economic recession that hit New York’s industrial sector especially hard.

New York in the 1970s

Combined with substantial cuts in law enforcement and citywide unemployment topping ten percent, crime and financial crisis became the dominant themes of the decade.

In just five years from 1969 to 1974, the city lost over 500,000 manufacturing jobs, which resulted in over one million households being dependent on welfare by 1975. In almost the same span, rapes and burglaries tripled, car thefts and felony assaults doubled, and murders went from 681 to 1690 a year.

Depopulation and arson also had pronounced effects on the city: abandoned blocks dotted the landscape, creating vast areas absent of urban cohesion and life itself.

These fascinating black and white photos were taken by Ernie Viskupic that show what New York looked like during the 1970s.

“Switch to TV Beer” billborad

A new town in town

Action News



Bus in the woods

Carnival ride in a rainy day

Co Faisor

Deer Park

Derelict under the Manhattan Bridge

Farewell to the sea

Fast mover


Gene Palma, '70s subway drummer

Greenwich Village

Hangin' out

Heavy industry

Hot dog stand, a hazy, hot summer day on Long Island

Illegally parked fruit

Impending progress

Inside the Statue of Liberty

Looking up at Liberty

Manhattan Bridge

Meyer's Drugs

Neighborhood kids

Patterned lady


Penn Station

Plush toys

Power plant, Long Island

Racing parts

Road work

Sharp dressed man

Steuben Day Parade, New York City

Stripped and burned corvette

The artist at the dock

The old man and the restroom

The parking lot

The World Trade Center Towers


Urban solitude, probably the Wall Street area on a Sunday

Welcome aboard, Long Island

World Trade Center


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