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NYC Grid is a photo blog dedicated to exploring New York block-by-block and corner-by-corner. Each post covers a new street or feature with a focus on the mundane and ephemeral.


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Before & After - Bryant Park




The above photos are interactive. Drag the yellow handle in the middle to reveal more or less of the before or after image.

Bryant Park has seen many evolutions over its 150+ years. Before being named for William Cullen Bryant in 1884 it was simply called Reservoir Square due to its adjacency to the Croton Reservoir which stood where the New York Public Library now resides. Even after receiving its modern name, the park has changed wildly over the decades. The photos above show a period during which a demonstration garden was planted near the eastern end of the open space. The west side of the park was perpetually in shadow during this period due to the Sixth Avenue Elevated that had been there since the late 1870's. 

Photo source: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division 1, 2

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Reader Comments (1)

I think one of the amazing things in these pictures is that in 1922 it seems they were showing plants one could grow in a city garden and we can clearly see on the left side of the top picture that one of those things was "HEMP". Fascinating.

August 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhil Kearney

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