Stunning Black-and-White Photos of New York Architecture From the 1970s

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In this Instagram-filter world we’re living in, it’s easy to snap a photo and make it look vintage. Still, there is something unmistakable about a truly great old photograph, one that you know was actually shot on a camera using film and not an iPhone. And there may be no other place in the world that lends itself so well to black-and-white photography.

That’s probably why we didn’t even need the title of this Hyperallergic piece to date these images from the Museum of the City of New York. Taken by Edmund V. Gillon, they showcase the silent beauty of the city’s architecture in the 1970s and remind us of the NYC of old, while also prompting an observation Lou Reed once made: “Those were different times.”

Courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York

Entrance detail on the Pythian Temple (1970–2000)

Courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York

Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial (c. 1976)

Courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York

Grand Army Plaza (c. 1976)

Courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York

“Our Strength Is Our Heritage, Our Heritage Is Our Life” wall mural, 232 East Broadway. (c. 1978)

Courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York

Looking northeast from the base of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center (c. 1977)

Courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York

“Chinatown Today” mural by Alan Okada on Pike Street (c. 1978)

Courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York

183 and 185 Bowery (c. 1977)

Courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York

Silver Center for Arts and Science, Hemmerdinger Hall (c. 1975)

Courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York

Courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York

Yale Club, 50 Vanderbilt Avenue (c. 1975)

Hotel Montague, 103-105 Montague Street (C. 1978)