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NYC History

See How New York Became a City in This New Digital Collection of Maps

What did your neighborhood look like in the 17th century? Now you can find out.

The best Zoom backgrounds for New York City fanatics 

Bring a little New York City to your next video call with these virtual backgrounds.

Revisit these 10 NYC stories that have nothing to do with coronavirus

If you need a distraction, here’s some choice writing about New York City

For centuries, pandemics have shaped NYC’s built environment

New York has dealt with epidemics before—and those outbreaks led to infrastructure changes and housing reforms.

How one woman fought segregation on public transit in 19th-century NYC

In 1854, a woman named Elizabeth Jennings helped kickstart the desegregation of New York’s public transit—and she’ll soon be honored with a statue at Grand Central Terminal.

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New York City’s 20 oldest buildings, mapped

The city's oldest building dates to 1652

Central Park highlights historic sites of erstwhile African American village

Seneca Village thrived from the 1820s through 1857, when its inhabitants were booted for the creation of Central Park.

How 5 essential NYC buildings reveal ‘the soul of the city’

New York’s hundreds of thousands of buildings are key to understanding its history.

A tale of Two Bridges

How idealistic 20th-century planning created a 21st-century loophole for developers on the Lower East Side.

A walking tour of 1949 Greenwich Village

In the footsteps of Henry Lanier and Berenice Abbott.

In the 1970s, the Bronx was burning, but some residents were rebuilding

Decade of Fire, a new documentary, tells a different story about the borough’s fires—and the communities affected by them

The winding history of Donald Trump’s first major Manhattan real estate project

The Commodore Hotel was a key remnant of Midtown’s Terminal City.

See the top five designs for Shirley Chisholm’s Brooklyn monument

The city is now soliciting feedback on five proposed designs of the forthcoming monument to the trailblazing legislator.

How urban development shaped the way 19th-century New Yorkers ate

The ripple effects of transportation, housing trends, and industrialization showed up on dining plates

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The sorority in the skyscraper

A 1929 "residence and clubhouse" for young professional women offered affordable housing—and community.

Long Island City’s forgotten history

Amazon’s new home was once its own sprawling city

How Wall Street became Wall Street

Named for a wall that once ran across Manhattan, the street is on the verge of change.

The elevated era

For 80 years, the elevated railway shaped New York City. Today, it seems a cautionary tale.

New York’s lost neighborhoods

All across NYC, the ghosts of old neighborhoods—demolished to make way for newer and flashier developments—can be found.

Uncovering the ghosts of Roosevelt Island

A new book about the island’s past offers a clear line between the uncomfortable parts of history and the societal debates of today.