a black and white image of building and a view of the Brooklyn Bridge in DUMBO

Past Tense: DUMBO Before Instagram

27 Jul 2019 CONTAINERS
a black and white images of a night scene of a lit up Brooklyn Bridge
Date: 8/27/1974 - Photo credit: Michael Evans/The New York Times

Featuring: Neal Boenzi, Patrick A. Burns, Fred R. Conrad, Michael Evans, Carl T. Gossett Jr., Eddie Hausner, Chester Higgins Jr., Donal F. Holway, Paul Hosefros, Nik Kleinberg, Sara Krulwich, Robert Levin, Keith Meyers, Nancy Moran, Nancy Siesel, Barton Silverman, Ernie Sisto, Ruby Washington.

Presented by

The New York Times


Curated by

Anika Burgess and Jessie Wender

How did an industrial neighborhood on the Brooklyn waterfront become a world-famous Instagram destination?

Here, we’re reconstructing the site of Photoville, before it was known as DUMBO. Archival photographs show visitors how the streets and buildings around them appeared 25, 50, and 75 years ago.


As The New York Times digitizes some six million photo prints in our files — dating back more than one hundred years — the archival storytelling team, Past Tense, scours these holdings for compelling characters and scenes that bring the past to life.

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