Featuring: Various or Unknown City Appointed Photographers

The NYC Municipal Archives invites you to explore a hundred-year history of the Brooklyn waterfront through photographs dating from 1870 to 1974.  Beginning with the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, through a period of intense activity as the center of the city’s maritime-based economy, these images provide us with a fascinating and conversation-provoking view of a radically-changed cityscape. Selected from the largest repository of NYC digitized images in the world, the pictures tell a story of a place now known as Brooklyn Bridge Park.  These unique prints, many produced from vintage large format glass-plate negatives, are a key element in visualizing the transition from industrial chaos to urban oasis.

The photographs have been chosen from some of our most significant collections including the Depression-era WPA Federal Writers’ and Art projects (1935-1943) and the City’s Department of Bridges (1901-1939).  Our collection of historic images simultaneously shares both NYC history and one of the most culturally impactful technological advancements in history:  the camera.  Without images, it is almost impossible to visualize the complex layers of Brooklyn and New York City as a whole.


  • NYC Department of Records & Information Services

    NYC Department of Records & Information Services

    Established in 1977, the Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS) preserves and provides public access to historical and contemporary records and information about New York City government. They operate the Municipal Archives, the Municipal Library, and the Records Center.

A Century on the Brooklyn Waterfront

 archive : 2015

Featuring: Various Artists

Curated by: Quinn Berkman Cynthia Brenwall

Presented by: NYC Department of Records & Information Services
  • NYC Department of Records & Information Services


View Location Details Brooklyn Bridge Park – Emily Warren Roebling Plaza

1 Water St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Number 1 on the official photoville map Click to download this year's map

This location is part of Brooklyn Bridge Park
Explore other locations and exhibitions nearby

This website was made possible thanks to the generous support and partnership of Photowings