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History of NYC - 1950 to 1955

At the apex of its postwar recovery, New York City continues to prosper at an unprecedented rate. A collaboration of Allies was successful not just in winning the war, but building bridges as the city welcomed a record number of immigrants seeking a new life. Puerto Rico became a US territory in 1952, opening up a wave of migrant citizens from the island and ultimately leading to the first Puerto Rican Day Parade, along with pop/cultural representation in classic NYC films such as West Side Story.

1953: Pedestrians at the New York Public Library

Photograph of pedestrians scattering a flock of pigeons along the sidewalk in front of New York Public Library.

Artist Credit: Angelo Rizzuto. Reprinted with permission.

1952: Washington Street Produce Market

A photograph of the produce market on Washington Street at night.

Artist Credit: Walter Albertin. Reprinted with permission.

1953: Times Square Showing Advertisements

Photograph of Times Square showing advertisements and businesses such as the Crossroad's Cafe and Nedicks.

Artist Credit: Angelo Rizzuto. Reprinted with permission.

1953: Grand Central Sculpture of Light

Photograph shows the interior of main concourse of Grand Central Terminal with sunlight streaming through windows of main concourse.

Artist Credit: Angelo Rizzuto. Reprinted with permission.

1952: Aerial view of Midtown Manhattan

Aerial photograph of Manhattan including the Chrysler Building and other midtown skyscrapers.

Artist Credit: Angelo Rizzuto. Reprinted with permission.

1953: Midtown Smog Obscures View of Chrysler Building

Aerial photograph of smog obscuring a view of the Chrysler Building from the Empire State Building.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1952: Man Standing in Building Ruins

Photograph of a man standing in the doorway of a building in ruins against a backdrop of skyscrapers.

Artist Credit: Angelo Rizzuto. Reprinted with permission.

1953: Street Artist Painting a Cityscape

Photograph shows half-length portrait of an street artist working on a painting of Manhattan's urban landscape with the Empire State Building in the background.

Artist Credit: Angelo Rizzuto. Reprinted with permission.

1952: Aerial View of Downtown Manhattan

Photograph shows an aerial view of Manhattan including the East River featuring the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges.

Artist Credit: Angelo Rizzuto. Reprinted with permission.

1954: A View across the Brooklyn Bridge

Aerial photograph looking across the East River towards Brooklyn from Manhattan's perspective.

Artist Credit: Angelo Rizzuto. Reprinted with permission.

1952: Aerial View of City Hall Park

Photograph shows view of Broadway looking south from above the 135 highway with large skyscraper in distance and subway tracks emerging from the ground.

Artist Credit: Angelo Rizzuto. Reprinted with permission.

1953: Washington Square Arch

Photograph of the Washington Square Arch located at Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, with its iconic fountain in background, visible through arch.

Artist Credit: Angelo Rizzuto. Reprinted with permission.

1953: The Fountain Steps of Washington Square Park

Photograph of two women sitting on the Fountain steps of Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village.

Artist Credit: Anthony Angel. Reprinted with permission.

1953: Two Women Talking on City Street

Photograph shows two separate shots of women having a conversation on the curb in front of a New York City taxi.

Artist Credit: Anthony Angel. Reprinted with permission.

1954: Times Square Traffic

Photograph looking north at traffic along 7th Avenue facing Times Square with its many billboards and storefronts.

Artist Credit: Angelo Rizzuto. Reprinted with permission.

1952: The Woolworth Building

Photograph shows the Woolworth building from across Broadway Street.

Artist Credit: Angelo Rizzuto. Reprinted with permission.

1952: Third Avenue Elevated Train at Cooper Union

Photograph shows an elevated perspective of Cooper Union facing north and flanked along its east wall by the Third Avenue elevated railroad.

Artist Credit: Angelo Rizzuto. Reprinted with permission.

1952: The Flatiron Building

Elevated perspective of The Flatiron building and the busy intersection of 5th Avenue and Broadway.

Artist Credit: Angelo Rizzuto. Reprinted with permission.

1952: Aerial View of The Flatiron Building

Photograph shows an aerial perspective of the Flatiron Building looking south from Madison Square.

Artist Credit: Angelo Rizzuto. Reprinted with permission.

1951: Rush Hour on the West Side Highway

Road construction delays traffic during rush hour on West Side Highway, at 79th Street, New York City.

Artist Credit: Al Ravenna. Reprinted with permission.

1954: Sidewalk Bicycle Repair

Photograph of a man crouched on a sidewalk working on a bicycle, which is turned upside down in front of him.

Artist Credit: Angelo Rizzuto. Reprinted with permission.

1954: Woman Being Photographed in the Rain

Photograph shows a woman being photographed on a street corner. Two men, one holding an umbrella stand behind the camera which is on a tripod.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1952: Houston Street from Broadway

Photograph shows busy intersection at Houston Street looking east from Broadway. An elevated train track visible in the background.

Artist Credit: Angelo Rizzuto. Reprinted with permission.

1952: The Empire State Building

An elevated perspective of Midtown Manhattan's famous skyscrapers with the Empire State Building casting a long shadow as the sun illuminates 5th Avenue.

Artist Credit: Angelo Rizzuto. Reprinted with permission.

1953: Empire State Building at Night

Aerial photograph of the Empire State Building illuminated at night.

Artist Credit: Angelo Rizzuto. Reprinted with permission.

1952: View of Manhattan Looking South

Aerial photograph of Manhattan, looking south towards the downtown skyline. The Hudson River is also visible on the right.

Artist Credit: Angelo Rizzuto. Reprinted with permission.

1954: Man Looking Towards the Statue of Liberty

Photograph of a man holding an open umbrella, sitting on a dock with a view of the Statue of Liberty across the harbor.

Artist Credit: Angelo Rizzuto. Reprinted with permission.

1953: Times Square at Night

Aerial Photograph of a busy night in Times Square, illuminated by its many billboards, storefronts and the lights of passing traffic.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1954: Pedestrians in the Theater District

Photograph of people walking on a Manhattan sidewalk with several theatre marquees visible in the background.

Artist Credit: Angelo Rizzuto. Reprinted with permission.

Next Chapter: History of NYC - 1955 to 1960

In the late 50s New York is still coasting on the success of the previous decade. The economy is strong and the population has just passed 7.7 million people. Air travel has bec... 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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