50 Amazing Color Photographs Capture Street Scenes of New York City in the 1970s_lag

The New York City of the 1970s looked very different from the gentrified metropolis we know today. The Bowery, now lined with luxury apartments, housed much of the city’s illicit activities, while drug dealers and prostitutes worked openly from Park Slope to Times Square.

Industrial decline, economic stagnation, and white flight led to the dramatic downturn for America’s largest city.
Gotham had an unprecedented fiscal crisis in 1975, and two years later the city descended into chaos after the power went out for 25 hours. New York City saw 1,814 homicides in 1980 — three times what we have today — while the population declined to just over 7 million from nearly 8 million a decade before.

79th Street and Broadway, facing East, 1972. Photo by Joseph Testagrose.


172 Delancey Street, 1970. Photo by Camilo José Vergara.


Jackson Avenue at Eleventh Street, 1980.


Third Avenue at 66th Street, facing Southwest, 1979. Photo by Alan Benjamin.


Facing Southwest to Fourteenth Street from Third Avenue. Photo by Bill Ricco.

Seventh Avenue South at Perry Street, facing South, 1973. Photo by Dan McCoy.


42nd Street at Seventh Avenue, facing Northwest, 1970.


Charlotte Street, circa 1980. Photo by Steven Siegel.


Orchard Street between Stanton and Rivington, facing South, mid ’70s. Photo by Susan Saunders.


131 Essex Street (at Rivington), 1971. Photo by Helen Levitt.


Fourteenth Street between Ninth and Tentth Avenues, facing East, 1976. Photo by Eugene Gannon.


Second Avenue at 26th Street, facing Northwest, c.1972. Photo by Lew Kampel.


Lenox Avenue between 124th and 125th Streets, facing West.


Northwest corner of Amsterdam Avenue and 150th Street, 1970. Photo by Manny Gerard.


155th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard, facing South, 1970. Photo by Manny Gerard.


Mulberry Street at Hester, facing North, 1975. Photo by Nick DeWolf.


July 4th, 1976 – Bicentennial celebration in New York Harbor. Photo by Steven Lindner.


Eighth Avenue at 41st Street, facing Northeast, 1978. Photo by Tony Smull.


Park Avenue at 110th Street – Spanish Harlem circa 1974. Photo by Susan Saunders.


Lower East Side, early ’70s. Photo by Susan Saunders.


Madison Avenue at 64th Street, facing South, 1979. Photo by Alan Benjamin.


72nd and Broadway, facing West, mid ’70s. Photo by Ira Gallen.


Northeast corner of Delancey and Bowery, c.1978. Photo by Manel Armengol.


Delancey at Norfolk Street, facing East, early ’70s. Photo by Steve Zabel.


23rd Street facing West towards Eighth Avenue, January, 1976.


68th and Broadway, facing Northeast, 1980. Photo by Ed Sijmons.


86th and 3rd, facing South, 1971. Photo by Michelle Gruber.


Lafayette Street at Bleecker, facing North, 1976. Screencap from Marathon Man.


130th and 7th Avenue (A.C. Powell Boulevard), facing Northeast, 1978. Photo by Manel Armengol.


Kingsbridge – West 231st Street between Broadway and Godwin Terrace, facing South, 1978. Photo by Nicholas Nigro.


Orchard Street at Delancey, facing North, 1978.


Rivington Street at The Bowery, facing East – August, 1973. Photo by Armando Moreschi.


Sixth Avenue at 27th Street, 1978. Photo by Manel Armengol.


Harlem, late 1970s. Photo by Manel Armengol.


Second Avenue at East Seventh Street facing Southwest, late 1970s. Photo by Laura Knight.


34th Street and 7th Avenue facing North, 1977. Photo by Laura Knight.


The old New Yorker Theater. West side of Broadway 88th to 89th Streets, c.1977. Photo by Nicholas West.


Hell’s Kitchen, 1973. Photo by Paul Mones.


Southwest corner of 74th and Broadway, the storefront was located inside the Ansonia. Early 1970s.


Fulton Avenue and Crotona Park South, facing Northwest. Photo by Robert Ronan.


Northeast Corner of 14th Street at 7th Avenue, 1972. Photo by Lionel Martinez.


Lower Manhattan, 1972. Photo by Lionel Martinez.


Sixth Avenue facing South from 59th Street.


Times Square night in 1970. Photo by James Wolcott.


Park Avenue at 47th Street, facing South, circa 1974.


Spring Street at Mulberry, facing West, 1976.


Ninth Avenue at 56th Street, facing South, 1979.


West End Avenue at 79th Street, facing North, 1979.


Amsterdam Avenue, between 144th Street and 145th Streets, 1971.


Harlem, 1971. Photo by Camilo José Vergara.