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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 - Manhattan Bridge Archway & Colonnade


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

Built a few years after the completion of the Manhattan Bridge, the arch and colonnade that sit majestically at the end of Canal Street represent a type of architecture the city rarely sees. The arch is part of the awkwardly-named City Beautiful movement in which structures were built "to create moral and civic virtue among urban populations". For many years during the 20th Century the structure was neglected and by the time restoration began in the 1990's, it was covered in decades of grime and graffiti. The arch was designated a landmark in 1975, much to the chagrin of traffic engineers who would have a much easier job moving cars on and off the span if it weren't for that giant stone wall in their way.

Photo source:  Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Bain Collection.

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Reader Comments (1)

As a real big fan of the Big Apple, I'm longing to go there, sit on a bench and take pictures of Life around me...

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulie484

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