This Was New York City Before the Great Clean Up, 1970s

By | September 26, 2017

New York, a global power city, is the most populous city in America, and one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world.

However, before the great clean-up began, New York had abandoned blocks dotting its landscape during the 1970s, creating vast uninhabited urban areas.

These amazing photos from Andy Blair that show another side of New York in the 1970s.

Street scene in Brooklyn, New York City, 1974

New York, 1970

Canal Street with peeling pavement, 1973

Plum Beach near Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, May 1973

Queens, New York, June 1973

An abandoned apartment building, Breezy Point, Queens, June 1973

Queens, New York, May 1973

Breezy Point in Queens, New York near the Atlantic Ocean, June 1973

Construction of Independence Plaza North, cobblestoned West Street and Lower Manhattan from under the elevated West Side Highway, New York, June 1973

Ellis Island and industrial Jersey City shoreline across the Hudson, June 1973

Breezy Point in Queens, an abandoned apartment building at left distance, 1973

 Independence Plaza North going up in what is now Tribeca in Lower Manhattan, June 1973

Pier ruins across West Street from the World Trade Center, Battery Park City and the World Financial Center would be built here in later years, March 1973

Ruins of old piers across West Street from the World Trade Center where is exactly the World Financial Center is now, March 1973

Breezy Point, Queens looking toward Brooklyn, 1973

Subway 1973-style with graffiti, March 1973

A forlorn old industrial neighborhood in Brooklyn, 1974

Battery Park City being built using land excavated from the World Trade Center construction site across West Street,  April 1974

Battery Park City under construction, Statue of Liberty in the distance, March 1974

Boxes of Adam and Eve products on Reade Street looking east from West Broadway, New York, July 1974

The Battery Park City landfill muck, New York, June 1974

The hulking West Side Highway closed and abandoned, New York, June 1974

Theatre Alley downtown off Ann Street, the narrowest street in Manhattan, March 1974

World Trade Center (the dark building at Vesey and West St) from Battery Park City landfill, the West Side Highway crosses the whole view, April 1974

23rd St and abandoned West Side Highway,  April 1975

Abandoned piers at Exchange Place in Jersey City and the World Trade Center across the Hudson in Lower Manhattan, April 1975

View from Pier A's fire escape, Battery Park City landfill, West Side Highway, World Trade Center, on a rainy, foggy day, 1975

View from the 58th floor of the World Trade Center to the Battery Park City landfill, Pier A, end of the West Side Highway and New York Harbor on a foggy afternoon, March 1975

 Nassau Street looking toward Wall Street, Lower Manhattan, 1976

'Welcome to Marlboro Country' sign under the West Side Highway by 150th Street, New York, September 1979