Explore 1980s NYC street by street with this interactive map

Posted On Fri, September 15, 2017 By

Posted On Fri, September 15, 2017 By In History, maps

The East Village in the 1980s

From Broadway to Bowery, 1980s New York City was a very different place compared to today’s manicured metropolis. Courtesy of Maps Mania, the 80s.NYC street map picks up where the Finance Department of New York City left off. In the mid ‘80s the bureau photographed every single building in the five boroughs in order to accurately assess building taxes and estimate property taxes. Brandon Liu and Jeremy Lechtzin have finessed this trove of photographic information into a nifty map that allows users to travel the city’s streets in the bad old 1980s with a map-based street view for an easy-to-browse glimpse of the streetscape 30 years ago. You can browse by location by clicking anywhere on the map for vintage street views on that spot, or type in an address. For more context there are curated “stories” that provide historical background where it’s available (and interesting).

The Bowery in Noho, 30 years ago

The ’80s map joins maps that use the New York Public Library’s Street View application, which, in turn, uses the library’s deep collection of vintage public domain photographs of the city’s streets.

West 57th Street before it was Billionaire’s Row

Want more? The Street View Then & Now New York‘s Fifth Avenue map lets you check out the Avenue in the early 20th century based on its collection of vintage photos. OldNYC has done us a similar favor, mapping the city’s streets using the library’s vintage photos from 1800 to 2000.

North 6th Street in Williamsburg 30 years ago (top) and today (above).

It’s interesting to compare the vintage street shots to today’s. The top photo above shows the gritty 1980s streetscape at 98 North Sixth Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Today (in the second photo), it’s an Urban Outfitters. Check out 80s.NYC for more maps and stories.

[Via Maps Mania]


Screen caps via 80s.NYC.

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