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New York Then and Now (New York City) Paperback – June 1, 1976


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Product Details

  • Series: New York City
  • Paperback: 171 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; First Edition edition (June 1, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486233618
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486233611
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 9.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #466,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
Brilliant concept: the authors found 19th-century photos of Manhattan and returned there in the late 1970s to take photos from the exact same vantage points. The side-by-side results are horrifying--what a beautiful livable city New York used to be! Life was not better 100 years ago, of course, but architecture sure was.
Dover--bless them!--has a whole series of Then & Now books on Boston, Phila., Washington, and other cities. There should be more: where's San Francisco? London? Paris? Local photogs should get snapping and send proposals to Dover Press.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mac in NYC on January 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
Yes, the "now" photographs are 30 years old, But how great it is to be able to compare the same view in 1907, to 1974, to as you can see it in 2005! This book is a time capsule in itself, and in many ways even more interesting then when it was first published.

In the mid-seventies, New York City was not a particularly kind place. The city was going bankrupt, Central Park's lawns were mainly dirt with patches of crab grass, and the subways were covered in graffiti. This book takes me right back there. It's amazing to see how desolate Broadway north of Houston was in the mid seventies and then to experience it today as a boulevard of high-end shops. The same thing goes for the Ladies' Mile shopping district on Sixth Avenue: formerly thriving, forlorn in the seventies, restored and vital today.

The period photos are well chosen, with a ghostly, otherworldly quality. It's so hard to believe Manhattan could ever have been so bucolic, a city of horse-drawn carts in which church steeples were the tallest structures around.

If you want a book that focuses on today, check out "New York Changing" by Douglas Levere, in which he painstakingly "rephotographs" 81 of the scenes captured by the great Berenice Abbott in the thirties. It's an amazing work for New York buffs, a real treat. Using a period camera, Levere went to great lengths to recreate the same shots, aided in one instance by the driver of a double-decker bus who pretended to have mechanical difficulties so that Levere, perched on the top deck, had time to compose his shot. But even Levere's book is a time capsule in that he was working before and after September 11, and several photos show the World Trade Center in all its looming enormousness. Time doesn't stand still, and these books do what they can to document the all-too-fleeting moment.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Maria S. on October 8, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Before I hit "one click" I could not remember why I had never bought this book before. After all... I love to see the photo comparisons of the city.
But... as soon as I opened the book, I remembered why.
The book was published in 1976.
All of the "now" pictures were taken no later than 1974.
So much has changed in Manhattan since 1974... that the "now" views are unfamiliar in many circumstances.
The old photos are facinating... and the commentary interesting... but I still feel the need to take my camera out to all those sites so I can get the perspective I truly wanted.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Mysterious Traveler on August 12, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The idea of taking old photos of Manhattan from the 1800s or early 1900s and then locating the same places and photographing them again in the 1970s was a work of genius. Not only is it a valuable historical resources but endlessly interesting to note such things as the differing quality of the photography(the older photos are superior to the 70s photos)how the areas have changed or in some cases not changed and seeing what has survived and what has not. It is even more educational to note the obliterations that have taken place within the last thirty years since the book was published as oppossed to nearly 100 in other cases when one finds the locations today. A great book for research and for the ambitious historical explorer.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
A nice retrospective of New York the way it was. However, the "now" of the title is somewhat misleading as many of the "current" photos are well over 25 years old! The cover photo of 59th and Lex is a good example of the "now" photos not being up to date. The bank building depicted on the North West corner of 59th and Lexington Ave, was torn down about a decade ago and has been replaced with by the contemporary International Plaza office building. Nonetheless a nice collection of photos from all over Manhattan.
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