From Publishers Weekly
Real progress is something that neednt be commented on; it is simply self-evident. Thats the principle behind this elegantly understated book, which places photographs taken by photographer Berenice Abbott in the mid-1930s alongside present-day photos of the same locations shot by Douglas Levere, whose work has appeared in such magazines as Forbes and People. In some cases, the contemporary images are remarkably similar to the Depression-era ones; take, for instance, the New York Telephone Building, which, aside from a new name (Verizon Communications Building), seems unchanged by time. Others are utterly different. In 1937, the Wanamakers department store occupied the corner of Broadway and east 9th Street, and its façade was covered in billboards; today, a 15-story apartment building and diner stand in that same space. Some duos are similar, but with one altered elementlike the absence, in 2002, of an elevated railroad track blazing through Herald Square, as it did in 1936. Its clear that Levere took care to re-shoot the photos from virtually the same angles that Abbott usedwhich is much easier said than done. The text that accompanies each pair of photos underlies the difficulty of Leveres task. For a photo depicting Fifth Avenue shoppers dashing around, Levere had to rent a double-decker bus, but since he couldnt get permission from the city to stop in traffic, "the bus driver feigned an emergency, placing orange cones on the road and opening the bus hood to allow Levere to take his photograph at precisely 1:10 P.M." This is exactly the kind of scrupulous attention to detail that makes this book work so well. 170 duotone photos.
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"NY Changing is a treat for anyone fascinated by the changing face of cities." -- L.A. Weekly, December 17, 2004
...so absorbing that a viewer risks incurring whiplash from looking back and forth between images... -- The New York Times, September 2, 2005
A fascinating study of permanence and change. -- Black + White, February 2005
A tribute to pioneering photographer Abbott and to the mutable city. -- People Magazine, January 24, 2005
Levere was meticulous in framing each image . . . Comparisons are fascinating - both in how little has changed and how much. -- New York Daily News, November 5, 2004
The before-and-after photographs, facing each other, emphasize New York as a living city of constant change. -- The New York Times, December 5, 2004
The differences between now and then, sometimes dramatic, sometimes surprisingly minimal, are mesmerizing. -- Michael Beirut, designobserver.com, December 1, 2004