1940s New York

I’m a big fan of all things NYC, both new and old. And since I’m also a spreadsheet-enamored, data-appreciative geek, I’m really loving Welcome to 1940s New York, a new, interactive map that CUNY’s Center for Urban Research launched this week.

As Gothamist describes it, the map is:

a slick mash-up of 1940s Census data, web maps and a rare 1943 book called NYC Market Analysis found by then-graduate student Steven Romalewski in 1997 and painstakingly scanned and placed onto a map of the city…Using newspaper and census data (including info from the Times, the Daily News, The Daily Miror, and the New York Journal American) the site gives you a peek into the “City of a Hundred Cities,” with each neighborhood getting a clickable description with photographs, block-by-block rental breakdowns and population statistics.

Of course, I went straight to my ‘hood, Washington Heights. The pop-up window showed me a few photos of different blocks from 1943. (The corner of Cabrini Boulevard and 181st Street doesn’t look too different!) It also has a color-coded key to apartment prices from that year. And since all of us New Yorkers are obsessed with real estate, that’s pretty awesome.

Rent in my apartment building ranged from $75 to 99 a month. And since I live in a studio, I can safely assume that my rent would have been $75. It’s scary how much more I pay for the same space less than 100 years later!

P.S. More old-school photos of NYC.

(Image via Gothamist)

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