Now that Google’s Streetview has been in operation for a decade, and conveniently provides its available archive with each image, it’s possible to do what Guest suggests in the post below:

You could take a similar pic – but in reverse and with a future transition – of the former Granville 7 Theatre on Granville Steet.

i.e. bustling pic of the movie crowds in the 1990s, boarded up with chain link fence and homeless camped out for the past few years after the theatre closed, and in a few more years (hopefully) bustling again as a Cineplex Rec Room.

Here’s the result so far:




The current street scene, at least in these shots, is not as dramatic as it can be, when there are rough shelters under the canopies.  Whereas the difference in New York from the 1980s to now – in this case, the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Bushwick – is unmissable.  Almost inconceivable.


As it happens, New York City has a vintage equivalent of Streetview: tax assessment photos from three decades, as reported in the Times:

One trove of evidence comes from the city, which in the 1930s, 1940s and 1980s took photos of every building in New York in an effort to make tax assessments fairer and more accurate.

James Barron previously wrote about the photos from the 1930s and 1940s, and he recently discussed the ones from the 1980s. Consider them very early versions of Google Street View.

So, for aficionados of NYC, there goes your day.

As for the changes in Bushwick, it’s a mid-Brooklyn neighbourhood caught up in the gentrification wave moving west to east.  See here: ‘Bushwick gentrification.’

But as Dan Ross might ask, is anyone in Bushwick really nostalgic for a return of what came before?  The burned out 1980s.




  1. Thanks for that!
    I recall there being a chain link fence across the Granville 7 at one point (no longer there I guess).
    The 1980s condition of the NYC buildings at least retained the cornices.
    Despite the missing windows, the top levels of the buildings looked better then than now.

  2. There’s no perfect era, but it’s nice not to have to put one’s kids to sleep in the tub because of stray bullets. Can’t speak highly enough of not having to do that.

    Commenter Robert Ransford noted the addition of street trees in the 2017 Bowery pic from the previous post. He may be on to something, noting the removal of street trees on Granville and its subsequent slide. Correlation or causation?

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