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December 29, 2018

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

B

From the New York Times:

Bb

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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.

D

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.

Dd

The city recently had the images digitized.

C

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

Cc

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

A

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

Aa

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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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