From November 1975 to September 1976, artist Roy Colmer photographed more than 3,000 Manhattan doorways to create an art project called Doors, NYC. The New York Public Library, which houses the collection, notes that the project “was as much an exploration of the serial possibilities of photography as of its ability to capture a place. Rather than approaching the task in a predetermined order, Colmer instead photographed the city as he moved through it on a daily basis, often by subway, from one neighborhood to another, and from one block to the next. He recorded his itinerary in a twelve-volume index, which maps the photographs by intersection, block, and side of the street (even or odd numbers).”
Though the vast majority of the collection is literally close-up images of doors and roll-gates, the images of entryways on busy commercial streets (like 14th Street) ended up capturing a lot of people going about their daily lives. The following shots of West 14th Street taken in 1975 and 1976 reveal the many ways the street has changed over the last forty years, but also how many of its small-scale commercial uses remain the same.
View the entire Doors, NYC collection here.