Vintage Photos of New York City During The 1930s
Photographer Berenice Abbott proposed Changing New York, her grand project to document New York City, to the Federal Art Project (FAP) in 1935. The FAP was a Depression-era government program for unemployed artists and workers in related fields such as advertising, graphic design, illustration, photofinishing, and publishing. At the project’s conclusion, the FAP distributed complete sets of Abbott’s final 302 images to high schools, libraries and other public institutions in the metropolitan area, plus the State Library in Albany. Throughout the project, exhibitions of the work took place in New York and elsewhere. After decades of lapse, the founding of the National Endowment of the Arts in 1965 revived the FAP’s ideals.
Check out Berenice Abbott’s photos of New York City during the 1930s below.
Also check: Historical Photos of New York City Subway
A rag merchant, 1930.
Huts and unemployed, West Houston and Mercer St., Manhattan, 1935.
Fifth Avenue and 42th Street, 1938.
Floating Oyster Houses, South Street and Pike Slip, 1931-32.
Bowery Bum, 1932.
East Side Portrait, 1932.
New York at Night, 1932.
Waterfront, South Street, Manhattan, 1935.
Jay Street, No. 115, Brooklyn, 1935.
Poultry shop, East 7th Street, 1935.
Blossom Restaurant, 103 Bowery, Manhattan, 1935.
Seventh Avenue Looking North from 35th Street, 1936.
Fifth Avenue and 44th Street, 1938.
Pike and Henry Streets, 1936.
2nd & 3rd Avenue lines, looking W. from Second & Pearl St., Manhattan, 1935.
Roast corn man, Orchard and Hester Streets, Manhattan, 1935.
Brooklyn Bridge, Water and Dock Streets, looking southwest, Brooklyn, 1936.
Travelling tin shop, Brooklyn, 1935.
Theoline, Pier 11, East River, Manhattan, 1935.
Warehouse, Water and Dock Streets, Brooklyn, 1935.
Zito’s Bakery, 1937.
Chicken Market, 55 Hester Street, Manhattan, 1937.
Penn Station, Interior, Manhattan, 1937.
Ballantine’s Brewery, New Jersey, 1938.
John Watts Statue, 1938.
Charles Lane between West and Washington Streets, Manhattan, 1938.
Court of the First Model Tenements in New York City, 1936.
Trinity Churchyard Looking Down Wall Street, 1938.
Broadway and Rector from Above, 1935.
Old and New, 38 Greenwich Street from 37 Washington Street, 1936.
View from West Street, Manhattan, 1938.