Ten years after photographing countless storefronts for their popular book, Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York, James and Karla Murray are returning to the same addresses for an update. The contrast in the pairs of images, each a decade apart, is striking.
Looking at the photos side-by-side feels like stepping into a time machine. While some of the storefronts, like Katz’s Deli and McSorley’s Ale House, have remained the same, others have taken a turn for the corporate. The beloved Mars Bar is now a shiny condo complex. The legendary CBGB is now a John Varvatos store. The most dramatic pictures, however, simply show where storefronts have been erased, leaving behind a blank canvas for developers.
The series amounts to a stark survey of gentrification in New York City. But the photographers also want to draw attention to the small businesses that remain standing. “We hope this glimpse will bring awareness to the unique character these small mum-and-pop businesses add to the streets and neighborhoods of New York City and the sense of community they provide,” the Murrays told the Huffington Post. “These storefronts have the city’s history etched into their façades.”
That is, if the façades still exist. [Atlantic Cities]