497 Dean St. Brooklyn, N.Y.
In this series titled New York City: Then and Now, photographer and historian Marc Hermann overlaps black and white crime scenes with the same exact locations as they exist today. He says, “My inspiration is drawn not from fictional characters, but rather from the real people who documented life in New York through the mid-20th century.”
To create each compilation, Hermann relied on Daily News Pix, a photo archive of the New York Daily News across the years. He pulled historic crime scenes of fires, plane crashes, gas explosions, suicides, and murders, and perfectly blended them with the colorful scenes of today. Each memorable moment will have New Yorkers thinking twice about the places in which they work, live, and reside.
Hermann says, “New York is constantly changing and transforming, and tragedies that affected individuals' lives are forgotten. We may stand on what was once the site of a horrific murder and not even know it, simply because life goes on.”
Above, March 19, 1942 is a day well captured in the Daily News' archive. Edna Egbert, who lived at 497 Dean St. in Brooklyn, climbed onto her ledge that day. The News captured the distraught woman fighting with the police as she wobbled on the edge. The building is currently painted red, but remains nearly identical to the way it looked 70 years ago.
427 1/2 Hicks St. Brooklyn, N.Y.
Gangster Salvatore Santoro met his end in the vestibule of 427 1/2 Hicks St. on Jan. 31, 1957. Here's how the building looks then and now.
Prospect Park in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Sunday strolls are still popular in Prospect Park, but on Sunday July 30, 1950, this usually quiet neighborhood was shook by the suicide of Detective Michael Dwyer, seen here.
The tree that stands in front of 923 44th St. in Brooklyn is the only living witness to gangster Frankie Yale's untimely demise on July 1, 1928. Yale's car slammed into the steps of the Brooklyn home that day as he was shot to death from a car driving by.
Fulton Fish Market
The Fulton Fish Market in the South Street Seaport was rocked by a fire on Feb. 26, 1961. These buildings still stand, in various states of occupancy, and minus a few floors here and there.
992 Southern Blvd. Bronx, N.Y.
A classic case of jealousy. In this stairwell of 992 Southern Blvd. on Sept. 25, 1961, James Linares lay bleeding in the arms of his girlfriend Josephine Dexidor after being shot by her husband. The same banister still scales the length of the hallway.
Porter Ave. Brooklyn, N.Y.
Only a few scars left on the side of this building serve as a reminder of what happened here on April 4, 1959. Three-year-old Martha Cartagena was riding her tricycle when she was struck and killed on Porter Ave. in Brooklyn.
137 Wooster St. Manhattan, N.Y.
Back in the 1950s, there were no North Face storefronts to be found on Wooster St. There was, however, a massive and fatal fire at the Elkins Paper & Twine Co. on Feb. 16, 1958. Six were killed by the blaze and the building was leveled, but new commercial space now stands where the Elkins Paper & Twine Co. once did.
Pacific St. and Classon Ave. in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The corner of Classon Ave. and Pacific St. got some serious action on July 28, 1957 when a stolen car crashed into a light pole. Strangely enough, the car was allegedly stolen by a boy released from the Brooklyn House of Detention. The boy was initially detained on car theft charges. The corner still looks the same, though new green street signs hang above the scene of the accident.
Park Slope plane crash in New York City
The wreckage after the crash of United Airlines Flight 826 and Trans World Airlines Flight 266 over New York City was well documented by the Daily News back in December 1960. Over 130 people were killed aboard the planes and on the ground in Brooklyn, making it one of New York's most tragic disasters. The crash also destroyed some buildings beyond repair. The ones that still stand can be seen in this compilation.
Downtown Brooklyn, N.Y.
Passersby of 66 Court St. probably have no idea that a massive gas explosion once blew out the windows of this building on Jan. 31, 1961. Over two dozen were injured by the flying glass and falling plaster.
New York City photographers
Here, Marc A. Hermann (r.) and his colleagues of 70 years prior get caught in a rare moment on the opposite side of the camera lens. Hermann began this photo project because of his love for history and it has since blossomed into a series that reminds us all that there has been bustling life in the Big Apple for decades.