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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • UNFAIR TO BABIES, 1936

Dodge Noir: 1948

Dodge Noir: 1948

March 24, 1948. "L Motors, business at 175th Street and Broadway, New York City. General view. Morris Lapidus, client." Need a new car? Go straight to L. Large-format acetate negative by Gottscho-Schleisner. View full size.

 

A Shadow of its Former Glory - 2009

R&S Strauss Discount Auto: http://bit.ly/Xq1ssy

Whatsa

What's a "Plymouth".

What's a two-phase traffic light.

Statements of yesteryore, not questions. Ahhh. Sigh.

A sign of changing transportation times (sort of)

The streetcar tracks shown on Broadway were no longer in use at the time of the photo, the streetcar lines having been discontinued about nine months earlier. It would be tempting to say that the expansion of private auto ownership as exemplified by the cars in the window was the reason for the abolition of the streetcars, which would be true in most parts of the country, but in New York the switch to buses was the main reason.

"The Nighthawks"

That photo reminds me very much of the Edward Hopper painting.

Townies

The 175th St & Broadway neighborhood is the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. At he time this picture was taken it was was a multi ethnic enclave. Heavily Jewish, with a high proportion of German refugees that arrived both before and after WW2. Some of the more well known people that grew up there were former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the stage and film Producer/Director Mike Nichols and "The Fonz", Actor/Director Henry Winkler.

Keepin' it real

Regarding the inquiry by "The Inventor" about the object in the driver's seat, I think it is probably a prop to inspire spectators to imagine themselves in the car. The convertible in the far right window appears to be full of passengers and/or dogs (but I know for sure they are not giant hamsters).

Two Things

Could that car in the showroom window possibly be on a turntable? And what's that leaning out of the driver's window? A kid? A mannequin?

Bravo? I think not.

Via Google Streetview: http://goo.gl/maps/UhLBC

Not much to look at nowadays. This is progress?

[Edited to add: Sorry, I thought I uploaded this pic with my post:]

Still There

Today it's a "Bravo Super Market."

I wish

I could have taken this. It's beautiful.

Morris Lapidus

Very well known for his hotel designs (most famously, the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach) where he tried to transform the guest experience into an extravaganza. He wanted people to always remember their visit and did all he could to make it visually memorable. This car dealership is flamboyant to the nth degree. Beautiful.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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