The Urban Landscape New York City Lost in the 2010s

Over the last decade, many historic buildings and cultural institutions throughout New York City have disappeared. The result has been the transformation of neighborhoods and the city’s character.

December 29, 2019, 11:00 AM PST

By Camille Fink


5  Pointz New York City

annulla / Flickr

Nathan Kensinger looks at ten buildings that have disappeared from New York City in the last decade, and the effect of those losses on neighborhoods. "As new development projects and rezonings reshaped the city, it also lost countless historic buildings and cultural institutions; dive bars, bungalows, churches, and even entire neighborhoods were wiped off the map."

In Harlem, Manhattanville is an industrial neighborhood that is quickly disappearing as Columbia University expands its campus. The loss, says Kensinger, is buildings and other structures that capture the essence of the city and connect the present to the past. "What has been erased in Manhattanville is the same type of vernacular architecture that is vanishing throughout New York City: diners and tenement buildings, cobblestone streets and slaughterhouses, auto body shops and horse stables.”

He writes about a variety of other places that are completely or mostly gone, including the Cedar Grove Beach Club in Staten Island, the 5 Pointz warehouse and graffiti haven in Long Island City, and the S.W. Bowne Grain Storehouse on the Gowanus Canal.

"New York has always been a dynamic place that changes and reinvents itself. But these recent developments represent something different, where billionaires and politicians conspired to maximize private profits and enrich private developers by destroying thousands of small businesses and dozens of neighborhoods," notes Kensinger.

Thursday, December 12, 2019 in Curbed New York

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