Sep 23, 2013

Vintage Photos of New York Superimposed onto Present Day

 

Marc Hermann (@MHermannPhoto) is a professional news photographer born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He is an official historian and interim trustee of the New York Press Photographers Association. As of November 2012, Hermann has been a staff photographer with the Corporate Communications department of MTA New York City Transit.

In a fascinating ‘Now & Then’ series, Hermann superimposes photographs from the Daily News Photo Archive onto present day photos, taking time to match the angle and framing of the original. The resulting 15-picture series provides a fascinating way to experience a city’s history, especially one as rich and well-documented as New York’s.

As Hermann explains:

In a city as large as New York, the history seems layered, but invisible. So much has happened in so many places that it’s difficult to imagine that the given street corner we pass daily was the scene of someone’s life-changing event once upon a time. This project was originally inspired by the early visual sleuthing of William Frassanito who sought out locations of photographs taken on the Gettysburg battlefield. Since then, the work of people like Sergey Larenkov and Joeri Teeuwisse, who blend historic pictures of war-torn Europe with modern-day views of the same locations, has brought the concept of “then-and-now” into the digital age.
 
Having covered breaking news since 1997, I shot various locations throughout the city where both the momentous and routine had occurred. Using the Daily News’ massive photo archive, I combined the modern scenes with the vintage images that had been made at those sites.
 
Most importantly, to me, is that the work of my predecessors is getting another look. It is my way of reminding people, too, to realize that they are part of the same continuum of time, and by seeing these sites in a familiar, modern way, that the “then” of history is also a “now.”

 

You can find the complete series on Hermann’s official site. You can also follow Marc on Twitter and Instagram.

[NY Daily News via Gizmodo]

 

1. 497 Dean St., Brooklyn
March 19, 1942

vintage photos of new york superimposed onto present day pics marc hermann (4)

Black and White Photo by Charles Payne/NY Daily News Archive
Blending and Colour Photography by MARC A. HERMANN

 

Edna Egbert proudly displayed a blue-star banner in her window, in honor of her son being the service. However, after not hearing from him since his enlistment, she became distraught and climbed out onto her ledge. Cops Ed Murphy and George Munday distracted her so she could be pushed into a safety net, the precursor of today’s standard airbags. [Source]

 

2. Hicks St. & Summit St., Brooklyn
January 11, 1951

vintage photos of new york superimposed onto present day pics marc hermann (1)

Black and White Photo by Paul Bernius/NY Daily News Archive
Blending and Colour Photography by MARC A. HERMANN

 

The bells in the steeple rang even as flames consumed the Church of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary one chilly afternoon. The 90-year-old landmark was practically destroyed by the five-alarm blaze, but was rebuilt and still stands today. [Source]

 

3. 66 Court St., Brooklyn
January 13, 1961

vintage photos of new york superimposed onto present day pics marc hermann (3)

Black and White Photo by Ed Peters/NY Daily News Archive
Blending and Colour Photography by MARC A. HERMANN

 

A leaky gas pipe wa the cause of a massive explosion at this Downtown Brooklyn office building that shattered storefronts and injured 28 people. The sturdy 30-story building survived without any lasting scars from this incident. [Source]

 

4. Classon Ave. & Pacific St., Brooklyn
July 28, 1957

vintage photos of new york superimposed onto present day pics marc hermann (2)

Black and White Photo by Paul Bernius/NY Daily News Archive
Blending and Colour Photography by MARC A. HERMANN

 

A recently released inmate of the Brooklyn House of Detention had forgotten some clothing, so the obvious solution was to steal a car with two friends to go retrieve it. They didn’t get far, however, coming to a crashing stop against a light pole at Classon Ave. & Pacific St. The auto body shop visible in the background is still in business, though relocated across the street. [Source]

 

5. 137 Wooster St., Manhattan
February 16, 1958

vintage photos of new york superimposed onto present day pics marc hermann (8)

Black and White Photo by Charles Payne/NY Daily News Archive
Blending and Colour Photography by MARC A. HERMANN

 

A massive fire in the Elkins Paper & Twine Co. on Wooster St. claimed the lives of two firefighters and four members of the New York Fire Patrol. The building was a total loss, and was demolished shortly after the last of the victims’ bodies was recovered. Eight years later, the carnage would be eclipsed by a fire on 23rd St. in which 12 firefighters were killed, leaving the tragedy on Wooster St. to fade into a distant memory. [Source]

 

6. Park Row, Manhattan
July 22, 1943

vintage photos of new york superimposed onto present day pics marc hermann (6)

Black and White Photo by NY Daily News Archive
Blending and Colour Photography by MARC A. HERMANN

 

An M-7 Priest, a self-propelled 105mm gun, rolls up Park Row in front of City Hall en route to Fifth Ave. library where it was placed on display as part of a war bonds drive. [Source]

 

 

See the Entire 15-Picture Gallery at MARCHERMANN.COM!

 

 

 

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