New York City has always been a major hub for financial, commercial, and cultural development with its iconic skyscrapers and dense population. But over the past decade or so, we’ve been able to see the way the city has changed like never before — with Google Maps. Google Maps allows users to (depending on the location) view previous eras of an area using Street View. By entering Street View on Google Maps and clicking “See more dates” in the top left corner, you can see how a particular section of the world has changed assuming it’s been photographed by Google more than once.
New York City is always bustling with development projects, and some of the largest projects and most visited areas of the city have photospheres dating back to 2009. With that, Gizmodo scoured the city for the most abrupt changes in the skyline and went back in time to compare then and now.
The High Line
The High Line is a 2 km-long urban park consisting of repurposed elevated railway tracks with construction breaking ground in 2006. In 2019, the final section of the High Line — the Spur — was opened right around Hudson Yards. Here’s the High Line in July 2022.
Billionaire’s Row on 57th Street in Manhattan is home to some of Manhattan’s ugliest buildings. The super tall and super skinny buildings are home to the world’s elite, who rarely live in them and, instead, use them as investment opportunities. The skyscrapers on Billionaire’s Row have sprung up in recent years, but here they are in August 2022.
As Manhattan gets more and more populated, residents of the borough are constantly on the lookout for cheaper housing. Look no further than the Bronx, which is seeing dramatic levels of gentrification as rents in Manhattan spike. Here is an image of the Bronx from the Third Street Bridge in October 2022:
Little Island is a recently opened urban green space located in the Hudson River to the west of Manhattan’s Chelsea neighbourhood. The park opened in May 2021, and here it is in July 2022:
Brooklyn has seen spillover from Manhattan for years. As such, the Brooklyn skyline is becoming more and more dramatic and the addition of The Brooklyn Tower at 9 Dekalb Avenue is helping cement Brooklyn as an infamous U.S. skyline. Here is Downtown Brooklyn in July 2022:
The World Trade Centre
The World Trade Centre was decimated in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, but after years of decisions and constructions, the World Trade Centre has been resurrected as Freedom Tower and the Oculus, seen here in July 2022:
Fans of Mr. Robot are deeply familiar with Coney Island, the base of the show’s hacker group. With new innovations in amusement technology, Coney Island’s Luna Park has seen new rides installed in the last decade while the historic Coney Island Cyclone still remains. Here is Coney Island in July 2022:
Hudson Yards was a massive undertaking by New York City. Phase 1 of construction was mildly interrupted by the pandemic, but the second and final phase of construction — a platform and development above the train yard — is on an indefinite pause. Here it is in August 2022:
The Battery is Manhattan’s southern tip. This area is mostly made up of historic buildings, but since August 2008, there has been some new development just north of The Battery. Here it is in July 2022:
Times Square in June 2011 is more of the same, save for some antiquated billboards for Kodak and Ryan Reynold’s Green Lantern. Here it is in August 2022:
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