History

It Looked Familiar: Frozen In Time

The world of “Joe Golem” is quite weird. The story takes place in the 1960s and 70s, after an unexplained earthquake of some kind in 1925 lowered New York so much that the streets are canals. The picture above is not labelled but is easy to place: the red-brick castle is the 1877 Jefferson Market …

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Clustered

Another dramatic picture from Berenice Abbott’s “Changing New York” project, titled “Vanderbilt, From East 46th Street.” We are looking south on Vanderbilt Avenue to its end at 42nd Street. Vanderbilt’s north end is at 47th Street – the short avenue was added because Grand Central Depot (the first Grand Central) blocked Fourth (now Park) Avenue. …

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Small Details When Far Away

The picture above, from Berenice Abbott’s “Changing New York” project, is titled “Squibb Building with Sherry Netherland in the background, 745 Fifth Avenue.” Squibb is the tall, blocky, white skyscraper in the center of the shot; the Sherry Netherland Hotel is the slender dark tower with a spire behind it. But neither is what grabs …

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Looking At The Periphery

When I look at the fantastic photos in Berenice Abbott’s “Changing New York” project from 1935, I find myself spending a lot of time looking not at the main subject of the shots, but at the edges. I suspect this is because she was so good at framing the photos that there is something of …

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An Unexpected Change

The photo above, from Berenice Abbott’s “Changing New York” project, is labelled “Broome Street #512-514.” It was taken in 1935 and those two small houses – 512 on the right and 514 on the left – were probably then more than 100 years old. I’m basing that guess on the Federal style and location. They …

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