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History101.NYC is an ad-free learning resource available to the public at no charge. The project is dedicated to exploring New York’s fascinating past. We restore vintage photographs and prints that document the City's history and heritage. We also research the natural forces that shaped the environment, along with the people who formed the landscape and culture.

History of NYC - 1970 to 1975

In the early 1970s a large movement of residents to the suburbs created a fiscal crisis in New York. Many residential buildings fell into disrepair, or lay in ruins throughout the city’s more marginalized neighborhoods where crime became an increasing concern. Despite its adversities, the city continues to make strides. The first NYC Marathon is run, making it the largest in the world. The West Village begins its annual tradition of the Halloween Parade and LGBT Pride March. The city adds staples such as B&H Photo, CBGB music club, Gray’s Papaya, and Times Square TKTS booth.

1974: South Street Seaport from Above

Aerial view of the East River showing Piers 17 and 18, South Street Seaport at Fulton Street.

Artist Credit: Celia Orgel. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1971: World Trade Center Scale Model at Port Authortiy

Officials of New York's Port Authority discussing office space with a scale model of New World Trade Center in background.

Artist Credit: Thomas J. O'Halloran. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1971: World Trade Center - Twin Towers Construction

Construction underway at the future site of the World Trade Center. Both of the Twin Towers are more than halfway completed.

Artist Credit: Thomas J. O'Halloran. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1971: Aerial View of World Trade Center Construction

Overhead view of lower Manhattan with World Trade Center & other construction in progress.

Artist Credit: Thomas J. O'Halloran. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1971: Building the World Trade Center Lobby

Photograph of the interior of the World Trade Center Lobby under construction.

Artist Credit: Warren K. Leffler. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1971: World Trade Center Construction, Looking North

Elevated perspective of the World Trade Center construction. The Empire State Building and midtown skyline are visible in the distance.

Artist Credit: Thomas J. O'Halloran. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1971: Twin Towers Under Construction

The construction of World Trade Center 1 and 2, colloquially known as the Twin Towers.

Artist Credit: Thomas J. O'Halloran. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1973: West Side Highway

Photograph looking south on Westside Highway at Pier 25, with the World Trade Center visible in the distance.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1974: Subway Token Booth

Photograph of passengers waiting in line to buy tokens at a subway station booth.

Artist Credit: Jim Pickerell. Reprinted with permission. The National Archives

1974: Subway Tokens

The first subway token change occurred in 1970 when the fare was raised to 30 cents and 50 million tokens were minted.

Artist Credit: Jim Pickerell. Reprinted with permission. The National Archives

1973: Graffiti Covered 1 Train to South Ferry

Photograph of a graffiti covered 1 Train at the 125th Street Station on its way to South Ferry.

Artist Credit: Erik Calonius. Reprinted with permission. The National Archives

1974: City Sewage Flowing into East River

Aerial photograph of untreated sewage spilling into the East River along 79th Street and The FDR Drive.

Artist Credit: Hope Alexander. Reprinted with permission. The National Archives

1974: Newtown Creek Sewage Treatment Plant

Photograph of the Newtown Creek Sewage Treatment Plant in Brooklyn, which began operation in 1967 and currently treats 18% of the City's wastewater.

Artist Credit: Hope Alexander. Reprinted with permission. The National Archives

1974: Houston Street between Lafayette and Broadway

Photograph of wall paintings on Houston Street which would grace the backdrop of many films and mark the style of the era.

Artist Credit: Danny Lyon. Reprinted with permission. The National Archives

1974: Herald Square Traffic

A truck driver sits through a traffic Jam in Herald Square.

Artist Credit: Erik Calonius. Reprinted with permission. The National Archives

1973: Rush Hour Traffic in Times Square

Photograph of gridlock traffic in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, on 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues.

Artist Credit: Dan McCoy. Reprinted with permission. The National Archives

1973: Manhattan Taxi Cab

Photograph of a Manhattan taxi driver picking up a fare. By 1973 the city had over 1,700 active cabs.

Artist Credit: Dan McCoy. Reprinted with permission. The National Archives

1973: Downtown Manhattan Cab Driver

Photograph of a taxi driver with his arm hanging outside the window in Downtown Manhattan traffic.

Artist Credit: Dan McCoy. Reprinted with permission. The National Archives

1974: Manhattan Skyline from The BQE

Photograph of a sun-drenched Manhattan skyline, taken from the Brooklyn Queens Expressway.

Artist Credit: Danny Lyon. Reprinted with permission. The National Archives

1975: View Through a Park Avenue Window

A nocturnal cityscape of skyscrapers and lights captured through an open window on Park Avenue.

Artist Credit: Balthazar Korab. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

Next Chapter: History of NYC - 1975 to 1980

All of the misfortune and poverty of the early 1970's would come to a head in the latter part of the decade. The city faced its darkest hours as it continued to deteriorate into... Continue Reading

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