Click here to see images in Part 2 of this collection.

Meredith Jacobson Marciano grew up in Boston but visited NYC frequently from 1976-86 before moving to the East Village in the fall of 1986. She brought along her trusty Minolta SRT201 and her love of Art Deco and mid-century buildings, picture palaces, ghost signs, ephemera and pop culture past and present. 

The Deco interest started in 1977 when she moved to Los Angeles to attend USC and was surrounded by beautiful yet many abandoned 1930s buildings all over Hollywood. After a few years of exploring LA and snapping shots of many theaters, apartment buildings, signage and places restored or awaiting the wrecking ball, Meredith joined the Los Angeles Conservancy and offered her photographic skills to them for their tour brochures, and gave a few tours before moving back east. 

After two years of living back home and working at a location scouting company in Boston, Meredith moved to New York in the next step of her career in the film industry. Spare time was for venturing into neighborhoods in all the boroughs just to see what there was to see, walk for miles, buy tastes from the local mom and pop bakeries and take pictures of any “cool old places” she liked. As the years went by and she would revisit some of these spots, she realized many of those cool places had changed hands, been altered, or razed. As this trend has accelerated in the past few years she sees many things that had been around for years now completely unrecognizable, and online searches come up empty, no other images of some of these old bars, restaurants, or stores. This has made Meredith realize that many of her old photos are one of a kind, from a time when not everyone had a camera in their pocket and many things that most found uninteresting held infinite attraction to her for just that reason. A storefront captured for its antique lettering starting to fall apart, a ghost sign on the side of a building fading into oblivion, an old theater still showing movies on its giant screen before being repurposed….

Meredith still walks around with her camera, the Minolta no longer working but replaced by a few other vintage finds. You can see more, especially if also interested in similar subjects now gone in Los Angeles and Boston in the 1970s-80s here,  and more recent analog work here


Copyright restrictions may apply. Permission to publish or reproduce must be secured from Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation or Meredith Marciano