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New York Then and Now: 83 Manhatten Sites Photographed in the Past and Present (New York City) Paperback – 1 Apr 1977

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9986ea38) out of 5 stars 13 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9968b8b8) out of 5 stars Wonderful photos, lovingly reproduced, bravo Dover! 17 Jan. 2005
By Mac in NYC - Published on
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.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9968b990) out of 5 stars Fascinating and Depressing 30 Sept. 1998
By A Customer - Published on
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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9996ef84) out of 5 stars A Brilliant inspired book!! 12 Aug. 2006
By The Mysterious Traveler - Published on
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.
19 of 26 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9968b024) out of 5 stars The "Now" is not... 8 Oct. 2001
By Maria S. - Published on
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.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99aec978) out of 5 stars Wonderful!...but... 25 July 2005
By Peter Shilpot Freeman - Published on
Format: Paperback
I love 'then and now' books and this is the best one I've ever come across. The early photos are so clear and atmospheric, I feel totally transported back in time when I look at them.

Being able to compare what are mostly early twentieth century photographs with the photographs often taken from almost exactly the same viewpoint circa 1974-75 is fun and fascinating.

The mid-70's photographs have now taken on a wonderfully 'dated' quality of their own.

The only reason I give just four as opposed to five stars is because I felt a lot of areas were very much over-looked. I'd like to have seen something of the older parts of the West Village, the East Village, more of the Upper Eastside. Whereas there seem to be a lot of photographs of real 'no-man's land' districts that are rather lifeless.

I wish a follow up had been published to fill in the many holes.

But I love this book very much and never get tired of flipping through and noticing new things.
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