Tagged: NYC

New York City Squatters In The 1990s: Before The Fall

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Maria and Violin in Serenity House Stairwell, 1997

Maria and Violin in Serenity House Stairwell, 1997

“In the 1970s, a massive downturn famously brought New York City close to bankruptcy. Landlords failed to pay property taxes and abandoned their buildings, even some still occupied by tenants. Some owners took further measures and burned buildings for insurance payouts. Empty lots quickly turned into homeless encampments and drug use and crime rates soared.” — Ash Thayer in her book Kill City

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Photos Of Fifth Avenue, New York, In The 1970s

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Photo by Robert Iulo

Photo by Robert Iulo

“I’m a native New Yorker and still live in the City,” writes Robert Iulo. “In the 1970s I was a professional photographer doing portfolios for actors, models and dancers but what I really loved to do was street photography. I’d take my camera and roam a particular area of the city.”

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Photos of Central Park’s Bethesda Fountain on a Summer’s Day in 1976

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Bethesda Fountain in 1976 | Photo by Robert Iulo

Bethesda Fountain in 1976 | Photo by Robert Iulo

Bethesda Fountain sits on the lower level of the terrace of New York’s City’s Central Park. The pool features Emma Stebbins’ Angel of the Water, a fountain statue unveiled in 1873. Beneath the angels spreading wings are four cherubs representing those archetypal New York values of Temperance, Purity, Health, and Peace.

The fountain commemorates the Croton water system, which first brought fresh water to New York City in 1842. The angel carries a lily in her left hand — a symbol of the water’s purity, very important to a city that had previously suffered from a devastating cholera epidemic before the system was established.

On one summer’s day in 1976, Robert Iulo photographed the people around the fountain.

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