Fifth Avenue Then and Now, a Century of Streetviews in NYC

The New York Public Library has recently released even more digitized images from their vast collection, including more than 180,000 in the public domain. While browsing, one of the first collections I came across was a book published in 1911, titled Fifth Avenue, New York, From Start to Finish, with wide-angle streetview photographs made by photographer Burton Welles more than a century ago. I thought it would be fun to revisit those same locations using Google Maps Streetview images from today, to see what differences are visible. Some views look remarkably unchanged, while others are completely unrecognizable. The images are stacked on top of each other—unfortunately they never quite lined up enough to make use of my then-and-now fader widget. (Adding a note: I just discovered that the NYPL made their own wonderful then-and-now viewer for this same set of images.)

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Marc Monaghan

    Americans at Work: Elementary and High School Educators in Chicago

    Welcome to a new series of photo essays at the Atlantic titled Americans at Work. Our inaugural story about educators in Chicago comes from Chicago-based documentary photographer Marc Monaghan.

  • Raphael Dias / Getty for the International Paralympic Committee

    Hopeful Images From 2016

    After another year of news stories that produced photos that can often be difficult or disturbing to view, I thought I’d take the time to compose an essay of uplifting images from the past year.

  • Adam Rhew / Charlotte Magazine / Reuters

    2016: The Year in Photos, September–December

    Time to take a look back at some of the most memorable events and images of 2016. Among the events covered in this essay: the U.S. presidential election; continued wars in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen; a new view of the planet Jupiter; and much more.

  • Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters

    2016: The Year in Photos, May-August

    Time to take a look back at some of the most memorable events and images of 2016. Among the events covered in this essay: the Summer Olympics in Rio, the U.S. Republican and Democratic national conventions, the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, and much more.

Join the Discussion