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December 29, 2018

Every Building on Every Block: A Time Capsule of 1930s New York


From the New York Times:



In the late 1930s and early 1940s, New York City sent photographers to every building in every borough in an attempt to make property tax assessments fairer and more accurate.


The result was more than 700,000 black-and-white snapshots of everything from fashionable apartment buildings in Manhattan to an out-of-the-way diner on Staten Island.


The city recently had the images digitized.


City officials did not want art, they wanted documentation to back up the terse written descriptions of each building in the files.


For accuracy, each photograph showed not only a building, but also its block and lot number as registered in municipal records.


The photographers carried sign boards with letters and numbers that they changed between shots.



Above, some of the 1930s photos followed by pictures of the same buildings today.

Fair warning: there goes the day.

December 29, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink


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