Then & Now: Recreating Old Photos Of Manhattan


Nostalgia is a hell of a drug, and the New York Public Library's collection of photographs offers a nearly endless supply of it. But as Don Draper once noted, in Greek nostalgia means "the pain from an old wound." And nothing is more painful than plucking out some historic photographs of NYC, reshooting them in present day, and placing them side-by-side. The exercise does, however, also offer a striking look at just how much the city has changed, while giving glimpses at things that have miraculously remained.

Below, as part of our Dear NYC series, we've recaptured old photos of New York through a 2020 lens. Photographer Scott Heins traversed the five boroughs for this project, and said, "[if] anything defines New York City, it's change. Almost every image from the 20th century is, in a way, impossible to recreate now..."

Previously we visited Staten Island; this time around we're headed to Manhattan.


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