If you think that reading a current-day market analysis report is less than scintillating, try reading one produced in 1943 in a collaborative effort by four different New York City papers for an exciting change. It is presented online as Welcome to 1940s New York by the Center for Urban Research at the CUNY Graduate Center. Wonder about how certain neighborhood names seemed to fade from existence—English Kills? Jefferson Park? Small capsule descriptions of each neighborhood describe their socioeconomic status and ethnic makeup. Yorkville is populated by "varied nationalities including German Ezechoslovakian, Hungarian, Italian, and Irish," while in South Brooklyn "families of stevedores and factory workers comprise most of the population." The maps are color-coded to show rents that range from below $30 a month to more than $150 a month.
The original market analysis was put together in a joint project between The News, The New York Times, Daily Mirror, and Journal-American. Then-CUNY grad student Steven Romalewski began the updated project that is now "Welcome to 1940s New York" in 1997 by overlaying all the original information onto digital maps. The result is a highly interactive online experience based on 1940s census data and the papers' market report. There's even a handy summary map showing population flows that have occurred in the last 70 years.
· Welcome to 1940s New York [1940snewyork.com]
· Maps! [Curbed]