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Vintage Photos of New York City During The 1930s

  • 2nd & 3rd Avenue lines, looking W. from Second & Pearl St., Manhattan, 1935
  • A rag merchant, 1930
  • Ballantines Brewery, New Jersey, 1938
  • Blossom Restaurant, 103 Bowery, Manhattan, 1935
  • Bowery Bum, 1932
  • Broadway and Rector from Above, 1935
  • Brooklyn Bridge, Water and Dock Streets, looking southwest, Brooklyn, 1936
  • Charles Lane between West and Washington Streets, Manhattan, 1938
  • Chicken Market, 55 Hester Street, Manhattan, 1937
  • Court of the First Model Tenements in New York City, 1936
  • East Side Portrait, 1932
  • Fifth Avenue and 42th Street, 1938
  • Fifth Avenue and 44th Street, 1938
  • Floating Oyster Houses, South Street and Pike Slip, 1931-32
  • Hardware Store
  • Huts and unemployed, West Houston and Mercer St., Manhattan, 1935
  • Jay Street, No. 115, Brooklyn, 1935
  • John Watts Statue, 1938
  • New York at Night, 1932
  • Old and New, 38 Greenwich Street from 37 Washington Street, 1936
  • Penn Station, Interior, Manhattan, 1937
  • Pike and Henry Streets, 1936
  • Poultry shop, East 7th Street, 1935
  • Roast corn man, Orchard and Hester Streets, Manhattan, 1935
  • Seventh Avenue Looking North from 35th Street, 1936
  • Theoline, Pier 11, East River, Manhattan, 1935
  • Travelling tin shop, Brooklyn, 1935
  • Trinity Churchyard Looking Down Wall Street, 1938
  • Unknown
  • View from West Street, Manhattan, 1938
  • Warehouse, Water and Dock Streets, Brooklyn, 1935
  • Waterfront, South Street, Manhattan, 1935
  • Zitos Bakery, 1937

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.

A rag merchant, 1930

Huts and unemployed, West Houston and Mercer St., Manhattan, 1935.

Huts and unemployed, West Houston and Mercer St., Manhattan, 1935

Fifth Avenue and 42th Street, 1938.

Fifth Avenue and 42th Street, 1938

Floating Oyster Houses, South Street and Pike Slip, 1931-32.

Floating Oyster Houses, South Street and Pike Slip, 1931-32

Bowery Bum, 1932.

Bowery Bum, 1932

East Side Portrait, 1932.

East Side Portrait, 1932

New York at Night, 1932.

New York at Night, 1932

Waterfront, South Street, Manhattan, 1935.

Waterfront, South Street, Manhattan, 1935

Jay Street, No. 115, Brooklyn, 1935.

Jay Street, No. 115, Brooklyn, 1935

Poultry shop, East 7th Street, 1935.

Poultry shop, East 7th Street, 1935

Blossom Restaurant, 103 Bowery, Manhattan, 1935.

Blossom Restaurant, 103 Bowery, Manhattan, 1935

Seventh Avenue Looking North from 35th Street, 1936.

Seventh Avenue Looking North from 35th Street, 1936

Fifth Avenue and 44th Street, 1938.

Fifth Avenue and 44th Street, 1938

Pike and Henry Streets, 1936.

Pike and Henry Streets, 1936

2nd & 3rd Avenue lines, looking W. from Second & Pearl St., Manhattan, 1935.

2nd & 3rd Avenue lines, looking W. from Second & Pearl St., Manhattan, 1935

Roast corn man, Orchard and Hester Streets, Manhattan, 1935.

Roast corn man, Orchard and Hester Streets, Manhattan, 1935

Brooklyn Bridge, Water and Dock Streets, looking southwest, Brooklyn, 1936.

Brooklyn Bridge, Water and Dock Streets, looking southwest, Brooklyn, 1936

Travelling tin shop, Brooklyn, 1935.

Travelling tin shop, Brooklyn, 1935

Theoline, Pier 11, East River, Manhattan, 1935.

Theoline, Pier 11, East River, Manhattan, 1935

Warehouse, Water and Dock Streets, Brooklyn, 1935.

Warehouse, Water and Dock Streets, Brooklyn, 1935

Zito’s Bakery, 1937.

Zitos Bakery, 1937

Chicken Market, 55 Hester Street, Manhattan, 1937.

Chicken Market, 55 Hester Street, Manhattan, 1937

Penn Station, Interior, Manhattan, 1937.

Penn Station, Interior, Manhattan, 1937

Ballantine’s Brewery, New Jersey, 1938.

Ballantines Brewery, New Jersey, 1938

John Watts Statue, 1938.

John Watts Statue, 1938

Charles Lane between West and Washington Streets, Manhattan, 1938.

Charles Lane between West and Washington Streets, Manhattan, 1938

Court of the First Model Tenements in New York City, 1936.

Court of the First Model Tenements in New York City, 1936

Trinity Churchyard Looking Down Wall Street, 1938.

Trinity Churchyard Looking Down Wall Street, 1938

Broadway and Rector from Above, 1935.

Broadway and Rector from Above, 1935

Old and New, 38 Greenwich Street from 37 Washington Street, 1936.

Old and New, 38 Greenwich Street from 37 Washington Street, 1936

View from West Street, Manhattan, 1938.

View from West Street, Manhattan, 1938

Unknown.

Unknown

Hardware Store.

Hardware Store

Source: nypl

Do you like photos of New York City during the 1930s? Share them with your friends and check out New York During the 1970s.

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