We recently wrote about the online release of the 1940s tax photos of every building in New York City by the New York City Municipal Archives. As we mentioned, the 1980s tax photos have been available online for a while now. However, Maps Mania has taken this a step further and made this resource infinitely more usable, making all the 1980 tax photos accessible via a map: 80s.NYC.
By way of background, between 1939 and 1941, the New York City Department of Taxation and the Federal Works Progress Administration collaborated to put teams of photographers to work taking pictures of each and every structure in the five boroughs. The original purpose was to aid the Department of Taxation in determining property value assessments (hence they are referred to as “tax photos”). This effort was repeated in the 1980s and now, thanks to 80s.NYC, you can search these pictures via location.
Some locations feature stories. For instance, when I clicked on Bleecker Street between Cornelia Street, the map explains that Matt Umanov Guitars was at this location since the 1960s and was a fixture in the South Village until 2017.
Click on 14th Street, just west of Fifth Avenue, and you will see VIM Jeans which opened there in 1977 and was part of the designer jeans craze in the late 1970s and 80s.
So enjoy this trip back in time, now easily navigable!