Tuesday, April 26, 2011
This wondrous expansive photo of Mulberry Street was taken in 1900 20 feet above the center of the street. It was digitized by Detroit Publishing Co., using a photochrom colorizing process.
The street—which borders Little Italy and Chinatown in Manhattan's Lower East Side—was filled with tenement houses built in the early 1800s, as immigrants poured into New York City. It wasn't until 1901 that a formal housing code required interior flush toilets (many landlords abided with one per floor), fire escapes and ventilation shafts for air and light. The streets, however, remained mobbed with people, since the sidewalks were occupied by vendor stands.
The image at right is more or less the same view in 2010. And below are some extraordinary details of the above shot from its original black and white photo, courtesy of Secondat.