Tribeca Then and Now: The Unknowns (Part 1)

As I’ve mentioned in the previous roundups of Jane Freeman’s photos from the 1980s and 1990s, many were taken at locations I’ve been unable to identify. Some are right on the tip of my memory; others, I haven’t a clue. Feel free to weigh in, but please don’t just toss out a guess and leave me to verify it. Go to the actual building or street view on Google Maps and see if the photo lines up with what’s there today. (You can identify the image by the number below it.) If it does, I’ll take a corresponding “now” shot. N.B. It’s possible that some of these are not Tribeca.

••• Franklin Street
••• W. Broadway and Staple
••• South Tribeca
••• Hubert, Collister, Beach, and Ericsson
••• Hudson Street
••• When Hollywood Built a Fake Diner in Tribeca
••• Washington Street and Environs
••• Upper Greenwich Street
••• Lower Greenwich Street


“This was tormenting me, and I finally remembered where it is—88 W. Houston,” says Karen. “See the attached screen shot from the 2009 Google Maps archive” (above).


“Northwest corner of Greenwich and Rector Streets (#94 Greenwich St., where Cafe Bravo is now),” says James. The curent image is courtesy Google Maps, and note what happened to the poor building to the right.


Robert Ripps identified this as Hudson between Beach and N. Moore. Photo courtesy Google Maps.






130 Greene Street, says James.


This one looks a lot like 35-37 N. Moore, between Varick and Hudson,” said Robert Ripps, “although if it is, they switched the position of the ironwork in bays 1 and 3 when they renovated (as seen on Google Maps here [and above]). By the way, that ironwork pattern is used in other places as well on North Moore, and perhaps elsewhere in Tribeca.”


James identified this as 448 Greenwich (west side, between Desbrosses and Vestry). The second photo is from 1999; it’s by Dylan Stone, courtesy the New York Public Library.


“95 Fifth Ave., entrance around the corner on the W. 17th St. side,” says James. Photo courtesy Google Maps.


From Sonia Stock: “I believe this doorway is located at #18 Commerce Street in the Village. There are two side by side, but this one has the window exactly as in image #10 along with the tiered wood at the top of the circular beams. I spoke with the neighbor Paula Easton at #16 and she told me she had been there since 1973 and that the neighbor had been there 2 years earlier. Paula said they had pointed the brick work and changed the outside color of the brick before she came. Attached is a photo of #18 for you trying to create the same photo. The door has been changed but the door lock is on the same side as it was prior along with many similarities.”It certainly looks like it, although I do wonder about the large brick piece to the left of the door—you’d think it would show up in the “before” photo.








  1. #3, Hudson between North Moore & Beach Street- truck blocks exact same angle, but you get idea here:,-74.0085463,3a,37.5y,271.92h,88.74t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1skao2VnOQxUW_Ktj-WskGxA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

  2. I remember the way it was back in 1990. I would take it again any day. the neighborhood had artsy working class diverse people ( the originals who fought for Tribeca) PS 234, Food Emporium, Washington Market Park. They lived in Independence Plaza from the late 1970s when no one wanted to live here. I moved in in 1990. Yes it was quiet but it was home. I could afford to live here. Mom and pop stores in the area. We lived through 911 ( most of us sick from that exposure). Then they come in, they come in and little by little you can afford to shop or live in the neighborhood you built. It is really terrible. I miss those days when Tribeca had character !

  3. Image 8 is 450 Greenwich Street

    • Not sure I agree with your assessment…

      • Sorry, the building next door, # 448

        • I still have issue with that location- if you look at the second floor windows on Google Maps here,

          currently 448 has 3 sections, while archival photo has 4. The windows could have been changed, but the current ones look pretty old, and the three window format is used at 433 Washington, which incidentally is almost a dead ringer for 448 Washington as seen on Google Maps here.

  4. #7 This one looks a lot like 35-37 North Moore Street, between Varick & Hudson, although if it is, they switched the position of the ironwork in bays 1 & 3 when they renovated (as seen on Google Maps here).

    BTW, that ironwork pattern is used in other places as well on North Moore, and perhaps elsewhere in Tribeca.

  5. Image 9 is 95 Fifth Ave, entrance on W 17th Street side around the corner.

  6. Image 2 – northwest corner of Greenwich and Rector Streets (#94 Greenwich St., where Cafe Bravo is now. )

  7. Image 6 – 130 Greene Street, Soho.

  8. Tenants have been in Independence Plaza since
    mid 1973, early 1974.

  9. In image #10, the wrought iron railings do not match- close, similar type/style, but not the same. They could have been changed in the intervening years, but… Also, the transom at 18 is slightly different…