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

  • Mike Danneman / Getty

    North Dakota: Images of the Peace Garden State

    A few glimpses of North Dakota’s landscape, and some of the animals and people calling it home

  • Rob Carr / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Masked Bunnies, Beach Meditation, Village Pyramid

    A drive-in theater in South Korea, sunshine in Blackpool, a temporary hospital in Serbia, toilet-paper cake in Germany, volunteer mask making in Maryland, isolation in New Zealand, and much more

  • Elijah Nouvelage / Reuters

    The Visual Landscape of a World Shaped by Pandemic

    Glimpses of our new reality as billions of people stay home

  • Narinder Nanu / AFP / Getty

    Music and Encouragement From Balconies Around the World

    Images of some of the musicians and grateful neighbors socializing from a safe distance