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140 Years Separates Astounding Then-and-Now Pics of NYC

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[Although from different vantages (the historic photo is from the western side of the plaza whereas the new photo os from the eastern side), it's clear that Brooklyn's Grand Army Plaza has undergone many changes in the last 140 years.]

To commemorate the creator of the handheld camera, George Bradford Brainerd, explorer Jordan Liles created a then-and-now photo project using Brainerd's 140-year-old snapshots of New York City stored at the Brooklyn Public Library. Pointed to by Gothamist, the 1872 to 1887 photographs juxtaposed with Liles shots of the same vantages in today's New York offer a look into the vast changes the landscape's undergone. Much like Brainerd's name, the memory of the sites are largely lost to history.




The Brooklyn Bridge was opened on May 24, 1883. Here it is captured mid-construction, long before the existence of Brooklyn Bridge Park.



Formerly the site of Frank Bollinger's Meat Market, 883 Flatbush Avenue at the corner of Church Avenue is now home to—yawn—a Chase Bank.



Brooklyn's PS 1 on Church Avenue near Bedford Avenue in Flatbush is landmarked nowadays, but is in bad shape compared to its stately appearance 140 years ago.



A view of Canal Street. Check out that still-standing brick building on the right.



Liles speculates that this view of the Brooklyn Bridge from Fulton Street looking towards Manhattan was captured on the day the Brooklyn Bridge opened.



Off of Brooklyn's Clinton Street.



Bow Bridge in Central Park hasn't changed much in the past 140 years, but the out-of-park surroundings have.



The buildings surrounding City Hall have grown vertically in the past century.



The elevated train line that once crossed the surroundings of Brooklyn Borough Hall was demolished in the 1900's.




The trees in Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery have beefed up a little in the past century. · Jordan Liles: The George Bradford Brainerd Project [official]
· Video Reveals 140 Years of Change at Specific NYC Locations [Gothamist]

Brooklyn Bridge Park - Pier 6

Pier 6, Brooklyn, NY 11201