Tribeca Then and Now: Franklin Street

Local artist and writer Jane Freeman has donated a cache of old Tribeca photos—the most recent seem to be from 1990, and most are from earlier—and as you’ll see, the neighborhood was a markedly different place back then. The photos were unlabeled and not in much of an order, so identifying the locations has been a challenge. (This series will end with the unidentifiable ones.) After I had the photos scanned, I realized that they wanted contemporary images for context. I occasionally tried to match Jane’s framing because I liked the comparison; other times, I felt it helped to see more than what she photographed.

Without further ado, here’s the first batch: Franklin Street.

···················

108 HUDSON (FRANKLIN SIDE)

···················

143 FRANKLIN

···················

144 FRANKLIN
What a shame about the door on the left being lost.

···················

148-150 FRANKLIN

···················

148-150 FRANKLIN (PART 2)

···················

152 FRANKLIN
Jane appears to have taken similar shots some time apart. (The third one is how it looks now.)

···················

153 FRANKLIN

···················

153 FRANKLIN (PART 2)

···················

173 FRANKLIN
Again, the first two shots were taken some time apart. (The third one is how it looks now.)

···················

175 FRANKLIN
The metal panels used to be doors….

···················

175 FRANKLIN (PART 2)

···················

Tags:

8 Comments

  1. Love these posts

  2. Two biggest differences from then to now, no more bars on the windows and much less graffiti.

  3. There used to be a door with a hand painted map of TriBeCa on the north side of franklin between Hudson and Greenwich, between what was Rothlesburgers and Nobu. Been trying to find a picture of it forever, let us know if anything turns up!

  4. very excited to see the before picture of 153 franklin street. i remember reading about the metal work on that facade. for the Before the 1986 centennial, extensive metal repair was done to the statue of liberty. this required bringing in skilled craftsman from france. 153 franklin had been boarded up and vacant for years. one of the metalworkers moved in and created the metal framed windows and doors.these photos look like they were shot before the project was finished. you can really see the craftsmanship in the oversized barbed wire sculpture hanging above the door. i admired the work every time i walked down the street and was very upset when i saw the building updated with the crap stucco surounds and generic doors that replaced the iron work. there is no accounting for taste.

  5. Thanks for taking the time to arrange these and provide comparisons, Erik! Really makes you realize how much graffiti can mar an urban landscape. I’ve really taken for granted how little of it there generally is in Tribeca.

  6. You did a stupendous job with these old photos, Erik!
    I wish I’d realized, when I took them, that they might be significant decades later as a record of “lost” Tribeca. I was not thinking of posterity, alas. I snapped these photos to use as references for the miniatures I was making, which were inspired by the glorious decrepitude of old Tribeca. Thanks for your astute detective work in identifying many of the buildings.

Comment: