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See Lower Manhattan transform over 30 years through an East Village photographer’s lens

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Artist Carole Teller’s personal collection reveals the dramatic changes in areas like Soho and the Lower East Side

Carole Teller/Courtesy Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

For more than 50 years, photographer Carole Teller has called the East Village home, witnessing firsthand the many changes that have happened not just in her neighborhood, but throughout Manhattan as a whole.

With her camera in hand, Teller was able to capture myriad of images on her daily travels; from the early 1960s to the early 1990s, she focused on transforming sites, whether they were in the midst of demolition, gradually decaying over time, or on the verge of becoming something new.

Until now, Teller has kept hundreds of these memories tucked away but has decided to generously donate over 500 photos to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) in a collection called “Carole Teller’s Changing New York.

Ca. mid- 1980s: A crowd on West Broadway and Broome Street, looking east down Broome.

“I had those negatives all these years and figured they'd be thrown out when I die,” Teller told Curbed. “Printing them for an exhibit would have been a big and expensive job, so when digitalization came in, it was the perfect solution for what to do with the negatives.”

Impressed with the GVSHP’s online historic photo archive and the organization’s mission to preserve the past, Teller felt that there was no better home for her collection.

Below are just a few images from Carole Teller’s Changing New York that illustrate how much things have changed in half a century. Check out the full collection here.

Late 1960s: East side of Norfolk Street between Broome and Grand Street as seen from Essex Street. Only Beth Hamedrash Hagadol synagogue, which suffered a devastating fire in May 2017, was not demolished at this time for the Seward Park Urban Renewal project.
Ca. 1970s: Orchard Street between Delancey and Rivington Streets, looking north.
Ca. 1980: On Second Avenue near St. Marks Place, with St. Mark's Theater showing Taxi Driver.
Ca. 1980s: The Washington Square Arch wrapped in cloth by the artists Francis Hines.
Ca. 1980s: This synagogue at 87 Attorney Street was demolished in 1988.