America in the 1970s: New York City

Today marks the start of Documerica Week on In Focus -- a new photo essay each day, featuring regions of the U.S. covered by the photographers of the Documerica Project in the early 1970s. The Documerica Project was put together by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1971, with a primary goal of documenting adverse effects of modern life on the environment, but photographers were also encouraged to record the daily life of ordinary people, capturing a broad snapshot of America. Today's subject is New York City, an area covered by many photographers, showing some of the urban decay and congestion that helped prompt environmental legislation, as well as glimpses of New Yorkers at work and play. Be sure to see the whole series: Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

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

Most Recent

  • Joe Raedle / Getty

    The Impact of Climate Change on Kivalina, Alaska

    The small village of Kivalina is threatened on several fronts by a warming Arctic climate, as the ground it sits on erodes, and the animals the villagers rely on become more difficult to hunt.

  • Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP / Getty

    Devastated by Dorian: Photos From the Bahamas

    Recent images of the hard-hit islands of the Abacos and Grand Bahama, as residents receive aid, recover what they can, and contemplate their next steps

  • Ulet Ifansasti / Getty

    Fires in Indonesia Blanket Islands and Cities in Smog

    Thick clouds of smoke and haze are blanketing much of Southeast Asia, due to largely illegal efforts to burn thousands of acres to clear land for farms and palm-oil plantations.

  • Smithsonian Institution

    Photos of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair

    In April 1904, St. Louis opened its doors to the world, welcoming millions to see the fascinating buildings and exhibits of art, technology, and history on display at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition.