A New Colossus Arises From the Sea
|The Lower West Side of Manhattan, future site of Battery Park City on the left, in 1975.|
While much of New York City hasn't changed much in the past 50 or even 100 years, there is one part of the city that has undergone dramatic changes since 1970. That is the Manhattan waterfront. Until the 1980s, the waterfront - which you might think would be a treasured resource - was neglected and barren. While the 1975 picture above shows a construction zone, that wasn't much different than other areas that tended to have abandoned piers and parking lots as their main "attractions."
The above photo caught my eye because it just seemed so familiar. That's what the Manhattan waterfront looks like! Or rather, that's what it did look like to people who grew up before the city and state poured massive resources into developing it. So, this is a then-and-now comparison of the Battery Park City site located on the southwest corner of Manhattan Island.
|The future Battery Park City site in 1960.|
|The Lower West Side of Manhattan ca. 1977|
|The future site of Battery Park City in 1975.|
|Battery Park City under construction in September 1982.|
|Battery Park City ca. 2020.|
|Battery Park City in October 2019 (Google Street View).|
|A look due north up West Street toward the World Trade Center (partially visible in the distance) (Google Street View).|
I hope you enjoyed this entry in our "the more things change, the more they stay the same" series. Please visit our other articles taking a quick look into the past!