The 100 Years of New York City Photos


This aerial photograph from 1910 shows a Zeppelin dirigible flying over Manhattan. Aerial photography has existed since the mid-1800s, giving people a unique perspective of their planet. In the days before Google Maps, cities relied on aerial photos to help create street maps (back then they were on paper, kids). This aerial photo of New York was taken in 1924 by the city’s Bureau of Engineering. This unforgettable image, titled “Lunch atop a Skyscraper,” was taken on September 20, 1932, during the construction of the RCA Building in New York. Life magazine photographer Margaret Bourke-White snapped this photo showing a DC-4 passenger plane flying over midtown Manhattan in 1939. Fog eclipses nearly all of midtown Manhattan except for the 103-story Empire State Building, seen in this 1961 aerial photo. Back in 1971 when this photo was taken, New York’s Twin Towers were the tallest buildings in the world. Chicago’s Sears Tower was completed in May 1973. A purple haze enshrouds the city in 1989, with the Empire State Building in the foreground and the Twin Towers in the background. Four days after the September 11 attacks, this satellite image shows the remains of the World Trade Center buildings. This aerial image taken in 2009 shows a cemetery in the Queens borough of New York City. The lights on Broadway can be seen far above the city streets of midtown Manhattan. A blackout south of 39th Street in 2012. Superstorm Sandy cut power to millions in New York City. The newly constructed One World Trade Center building, dubbed “Freedom Tower,” rises above the clouds on December 2, 2012, in an aerial photo taken from an airplane leaving New York’s LaGuardia Airport. The double-decker Verrazano Bridge, as seen from above in this 2013 photo, connects the New York boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn. In 2013, Time magazine created this 360-degree panoramic view from the top of One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western hemisphere. New York’s Central Park is covered in snow in January.

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