Old New York In Photos #84 – West End Avenue 60th Street 1927 & Now

How West End Avenue & 60th Street Has Changed Over The Last 90 Years

One word describes this transformation – drastic.

Judge for yourself.

Our first photograph looking north and west on West End Avenue from 60th Street was taken by Percy Sperr on May 20, 1927. Sperr photographed the city endlessly during the 1920s and 1930s and preserved many views of common scenes and places that other photographers would rarely chronicle.

The Belgian block paved street and rail tracks that line West End Avenue from 60th Street stretch as far as the eye can see.

Besides some men standing near the work shacks, the area is mostly devoid of people.

Being so close to the Hudson River, West End Avenue and its rail lines transported vital goods in and out of New York. Besides the railroad running north out of the city, many rail lines had ferries and docks that connected from New Jersey to the New York side of the Hudson shore.

Our next three photographs come from Google maps over a ten year period.

2007 – Cars pack the streets and rail traffic vanished long ago. Building development was beginning to take place around 60th Street. The northwest corner of 60th Street remains undeveloped with a parking lot occupying the site of the rail work shacks.

2013 – Tishman construction is about to build something on the 60th Street lot.

2016 – 60th Street has been developed as has most of this stretch of West End Avenue with many expensive glass sheathed co-ops and condos.

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3 thoughts on “Old New York In Photos #84 – West End Avenue 60th Street 1927 & Now

  1. Kevin

    You’re the only person who correctly refers to “Belgian blocks.” Everyone else calls them cobblestones, which are completely different.

    Reply

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