Tribeca Doorways in 1975 and 1976

The New York Public Library has a cool map thing (to borrow Curbed‘s phrase) devised by NYPL photography specialist David Lowe to showcase the photos that Roy Colmer took of Manhattan doorways in 1975 and 1976. “The photographs, with their terse descriptive titles, serial organization, and constrained subject-matter, evoke the Conceptual and Minimalist sensibilities of their time. But contrary to this implied rigor, there is no discernible system to the streets Colmer has chosen to document. He seems even to wrestle with the very definition of a ‘door,’ including at times chain-link gates, loading docks, and the occasional bricked-up wall which had previously been a doorway.”

As you can see from the handful of images I grabbed below, the map is definitely worth spending some time with. Bear in mind Love’s caveat: “On the map, Colmer’s photographs have been distributed at regular intervals along the streets they depict. The points are not intended to specify the location of particular doorways.” Drift over the pic or click on it to see the street name. All photos by Roy Colmer and courtesy the New York Public Library.



  1. Fantastic. As an admirer of both doors and street numbers I find these fascinating, especially considering how many of these appear now.

  2. Dear Citizen,

    Thanks for putting up photos from Doors, NYC taken by my late husband Roy Colmer.

    He died in Los Angeles 1/24/14. We lived on Walker Street (near Church Street) for many years in a loft, moving 12/2002. He first moved to Walker Street in the late 1960’s when just artists lived there.