Bond Street & 64th Street, Southwest Corner

Friday, June 4, 2010

Tenth Avenue 14th Street — 72nd Street: major changes 2010 vs. 2006

Signs of change may be as minor as the appearance of new street furniture, e.g., those colorful boxes for the free papers or a new kind of trash can, or of a new awning on a deli or a new paint job on a storefront, or of a series of Sabrett's vendors every other block where you never saw even one before.

Tenth Avenue & 42nd Street, Southeast Corner
(2006 above, 2010 below)

But then there are also the major changes: newly empty lots (sites of recent demolitions), new construction in progress, new buildings (finished or nearly so), and major renovations (underway or finished).

I thought I'd count these and see what we've got, in the stretch of Tenth Avenue from 14th up to 72nd.

A few relatively minor judgment calls — when is a building still under construction and when is it "nearly finished" (and does this matter)?

I did NOT include new buildings that are visible in the photographs but are not sited on or close to the corners that are the actual subjects of the photographs, i.e., I didn't count new buildings and construction visible in the backgrounds.


Newly vacant lots: 4

Under construction: 1

New buildings: 19

Major renovations: 8


So, 15% or about one in seven of the 216 corners has undergone or is currently undergoing these major changes since I first photographed them in 2006.

While 136 of the 216 corners, 63%, shows signs of change at some level or other.

That is, 32 out of the 136 corners showing change, or 24%, show major change, as just defined above.

One in seven corners, one in four corners showing change — is this a lot? a little? "normal"?

We'll have to look at more photographs to answer that — a fine argument, perhaps, for doing the whole project over again next year. But also a fine argument for doing it every year. Or at least for systematically photographing some area at regular intervals — annually? quarterly? monthly? — over a period of, well, as many years as possible.

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