While it’s true the more things change the more they stay the same, the changes certainly outnumber the sameness in these vintage photos of Greenpoint. The sameness is enough for the streets to be recognizable, but the full throttle industrial landscape paired with the lack of development and people makes it clear these images were created in another world.
Some of the photographs are dated by their car models and aboveground telephone lines, others by their empty lots and the old school formal fashion. Take a look, and see if you can guess the photos’ locations without reading the caption.
“Logan Iron Works, Manufacturers Of High And Low Pressure Boilers And Tanks, Of All Descriptions.” Date unknown, via NYPL
Love seeing these historical views!
However, 2 of the West Street photos are misidentified as Greenpoint in the NYPL titles.
The West street photos are of West street in lower Manhattan.
I’ve updated the post with two photos of West Street in Greenpoint, thanks for catching that! Bizarre NYPL mislabeled those, I’ve never seen them so egregiously misidentify their archives before
I say you’re incorrect. You could do a side by side comparison to this day and confirm those photos are of West St. In Greenpoint.
The two pictures of West Street are not in Greenpoint. They are in Manhattan along the Hudson River. We never had huge piers like those. They were meant to accommodate cruise ships and our area never had cruise ships Two other pictures are of Queens, not Greenpoint.
Thanks for catching that – I should’ve realized. I’ve updated the post with two photos which actually depict Greenpoint’s West Street. I included the Queens photos because they had partial views of Greenpoint, but I’ve updated them with photos in Greenpoint proper.
yeah those west street pics looked fishy…there was a building on the NW corner of the intersection that was never there, also on the south east corner there was a gas station not a bldg…
The first picture cannot be 1887. Look at the skyscrapers in the background!
Currently the N.Y. public library is on Leonard & Ecford where was the one pictured located
That Postcard is a misprint. that image is actually on Fourth Ave (street) in another part of Brooklyn.
Hi, Tom – The new library is on the n.e. corner of Norman and Leonard, the old library pictured here was on the same spot’
In 1964 I “ran away to sea” on the MS Clary Thorden. Our first call after leaving Boston was the Greenpoint pier by the corner of Java and West Streets. The JAVA WEST BAR was our social center. Sometimes walking to the subway, an early teen girl would be seated at a card table with two chairs and a deck. She systematically lightened many sailors wallets.
My Mom used to work at the Greenpoint Library when I was a tot. One of my 1st summer jobs was at the old PS31 where I was a NYC Bd of Ed “Homework Helper”. That was back in 1971. It was there that I became familiar with the N-S sequencing of street names from Ash to Quay: (Ash, Box, Clay, DuPont, Eagle, Freeman, Green, Huron, India, Java, Kent, Lincoln (now Greenpoint Ave.), Milton, Noble, Oak & Quay) I dated a young colleague who lived on Oak St. Wish we’d stayed in touch. She was very sweet. Great photos of a good neighborhood.
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