James and Karla Murray embarked on a project 10 years ago, that saw the release of their first book “Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York“. A decade later, the pair have photographed new images of the same facades, showing loss of character in the shopfronts over the time that Michael Bloomberg served as mayor of New York City.
Most of the images show small businesses, or “mom-and-pop shops”, turn into large corporations such as Subway and Verizon. Many charismatic music venues and food outlets were replaced with sleek, modern, characterless buildings.
“Due to the commonality of high rent increases starting in the early 2000s, after the small business was forced to close, it was often replaced by a chain-type store or banking institution, which could afford the higher rent, or the whole building was converted into a luxury condo,” the photographers commented. Sounds a bit familiar to us Melbourne folk, with the Palace Theatre set to shut at the end of May and turned into apartments. Will Melbourne’s fate be alike to New York’s? I would hate to see all our character-filled buildings like The Palace being destroyed to make room for more McDonalds and apartments.
More New York