These Eye-Opening Photographs Capture The Rapid Gentrification Of NYC

And what a decade has done to the city.

1. STORE FRONT: The Disappearing Face of New York is a new photo series that document flashes of the city’s transformations only over a span of a decade.

James & Karla Murray / Via Facebook: jamesandkarlamurrayphotography

2. Photographers James and Karla Murray took storefront photographs between 2001 and 2004, and revisited these sites, to highlight the commercial changes small businesses have faced.

James & Karla Murray / Via Facebook: jamesandkarlamurrayphotography

Above: Casa Nova Pizzeria in Hell’s Kitchen about 10 years ago, and a Verizon Wireless store in its place today.

“We started re-photographing the locations of all the mom-and-pop stores which [first] appeared in our book, Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York, after a decade had passed,” they told BuzzFeed. “We felt this was a sufficient amount of time to really bring into focus the commercial changes.”

3. They wanted to spell out exactly what was happening in Manhattan and how it’s led to a “loss of character and decreased sense of community.”

James & Karla Murray / Via Facebook: jamesandkarlamurrayphotography

Above: Delightful Coffee Shop in Harlem about 10 years ago (left), and a Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin Robbins now in its location (right).

James & Karla Murray / Via Facebook: jamesandkarlamurrayphotography

Above: Optimo Cigars in Union Square about 10 years ago (left), and a Baked by Melissa cupcake shop in its place today (right).

“Until you place them side-by-side and really look at the two photos, you cannot get the true sense of loss experienced by the neighborhood,” James and Karla said.

James & Karla Murray / Via Facebook: jamesandkarlamurrayphotography

Above: McHale’s Restaurant at 8th Avenue & West 46th Street about 10 years ago, and Satya Eastern Kitchen in its place today.

Its caption reads: “McHale’s was in business for 62 years and was replaced by the condo tower known as Platinum NYC. The Broadway Inn, pictured top right, has since been torn down.”

James & Karla Murray / Via Facebook: jamesandkarlamurrayphotography

Above: Bar Martins in Greenwich Village about 10 years ago, and a Subway in its place today.

James & Karla Murray / Via Facebook: jamesandkarlamurrayphotography

Above: Lismore Hosiery Co. on the corner of Grand Street and Ludlow Street, and a Subway in its place 10 years later.

James & Karla Murray / Via Facebook: jamesandkarlamurrayphotography

Above: Some local establishments on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village about 10 years ago; a gelato shop stands in both of these spaces today.

James & Karla Murray / Via Facebook: jamesandkarlamurrayphotography

Above: Lenox Lounge in Harlem, open, about 10 years ago. The site remains boarded up and vacant today.

Above: Ralph’s Discount City in TriBeCa about 10 years ago. Ralph’s stayed in business between 1963–2007. The lot is still vacant today.

James & Karla Murray / Via Facebook: jamesandkarlamurrayphotography

Above: Public Fish Market in Harlem about 10 years ago. The commercial space is still vacant today.

12. So far, the series has only captured Lower Manhattan and Harlem, but the photographers plan to document about 300 storefronts and venture into the other boroughs as well.

James & Karla Murray / Via Facebook: jamesandkarlamurrayphotography

Above: CBGB, on the Bowery in the East Village about 10 years ago, and a John Varvatos boutique in its place now.

“Most of the ‘after’ photos have been taken in Manhattan because that’s where we live so it is easier for us to revisit those locations,” they said. “But we plan to visit the stores we originally photographed in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, as well as Staten Island.”

13. James and Karla will finish their photography tour by the end of this year. They plan to publish their complete work in 2015.


For more information, updates, and additional photos, visit their official website and Facebook page.

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