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History of NYC - 1930 to 1935

The 30s would mark a far less jubilant period as the City would come to grips with the grim reality of the Great Depression. With the economy at record lows and unemployment at all time highs, homelessness and poverty would become widespread. All of this takes place in the shadow of the city’s growing skyline, which now includes The Chrysler Building and the RCA Building.


1931: Construction of the Empire State Building

Photograph of two construction workers, perched atop the steel framework of the EMpire State Building.

1933: RCA Building at Rockefeller Center

Photograph of the RCA Building at Rockefeller Center, as viewed from old Union Club.

1930: The Chrysler Building

Full length photograph of The Chrysler Building at the intersection of 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.

1930: The Chrysler Building

Photograph of the Chrysler Building, designed by architect William Van Alen and completed on May 27, 1930.

1931: Midtown Manhattan Skyline and the East River

A view of Manhattan's midtown skyline from Queens. Visible in this photograph are both the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building.

1931: A View of Madison Avenue

Photograph of cars and pedestrians on Madison Avenue with a political banner for the New York Young Democratic Club hanging overhead.

1931: VIew of Downtown Manhattan

Photograph of the East River and Manhattan's famous downtown skyline taken from Brooklyn.

1931: Midtown Manhattan Skyline

A bird-s eye perspective of Midtown Manhattan, looking northeast towards The Chrysler Building.

1931: New York Harbor

Photograph of Manhattan's rapidly growing skyline on its southeastern waterfront.

1931: View from Skyscraper

Photograph taken from a skyscraper in Manhattan.

1934: Wholesale Market in Lower Manhattan

Photograph of workers unloading trucks with dollies at a downtown Manhattan market.


Next Chapter: History of NYC - 1935 to 1940

The Great Depression has come and gone, and the city is slowly returning to life. Rockefeller Center was built and the American Ballet Theatre was opened. The High School of Mus... Continue Reading

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History of NYC - 10,000+ Years Ago

Learn all about NYC’s fascinating past by exploring the natural forces that shaped the environment and landscape, along with the people who would transform the “Island of Many Hills” into the greatest and most influential city in the world.


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