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Then-and-Now Images of NYC Created by Blending in Vintage Crime Scene Photos

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Then-and-now photos are always fascinating to see. Historical scenes come to life when blended into or placed side-by-side with modern-day photographs of cities we all know very well. Be it Paris, New York or San Francisco, most of the best-known cities have gotten the then-and-now treatment to great effect by many a photographer.

The most recent Then and Now series we’ve run across, however, isn’t just meant to show how the scenery has changed. When photographer and historian Marc A. Hermann created the images, he purposely used only vintage (Note: and sometimes gruesome) crime scene photos to fill in the “then” part.

All of the old photos were pulled from the New York Daily News’ archive, which contains nearly a century of NYC’s photographic history. Through them, people who only know the more “sanitized” New York City of today are offered a glimpse into the Big Apple’s seedy past.

Photographer and creator of this series Marc A. Hermann standing next to the shadow of his colleagues from 70 years ago.

Photographer and creator of this series Marc A. Hermann standing next to the shadow of his colleagues from 70 years ago.

“I have always been a fan of the work of our predecessors in the New York City photojournalism community,” said Hermann when he spoke with Co.Create about the series. “And it didn’t take long for me to think that something similar could be done with the lesser-known ‘war zones’ of our streets during the days of Murder, Inc.”

At the top we have a photo taken on March 19, 1942, which shows Edna Egbert out on the ledge of her apartment on 497 Dean St. in Brooklyn, fighting with police. Below you’ll find the rest of the series, complete with captions to fill in the context:

James Linares lays bleeding in the arms of his girlfriend Josephine Dexidor on September 25th, 1961 after being shot by her husband.

James Linares lays bleeding in the arms of his girlfriend Josephine Dexidor on September 25th, 1961 after being shot by her husband.

The wreckage of United Airlines Flight 826 and Trans World Airlines Flight 266, which crashed over NYC in December of 1960.

The wreckage of United Airlines Flight 826 and Trans World Airlines Flight 266, which crashed over NYC in December of 1960.

A stolen car is shown crashed into the light pole at the corner of Classon Ave. and Pacific St. on July 28, 1957.

A stolen car is shown crashed into the light pole at the corner of Classon Ave. and Pacific St. on July 28, 1957.

An M-7 tank destroyer being transported from City Hall to the Public Library on 42nd St. to be put on display on July 22, 1943.

An M-7 tank destroyer being transported from City Hall to the Public Library on 42nd St. to be put on display on July 22, 1943.

The aftermath of a car wreck that took the life of three-year-old Martha Cartagena, who was riding her tricycle when she was struck and killed on Porter Ave. in Brooklyn on April 4th, 1959.

The aftermath of a car wreck that took the life of three-year-old Martha Cartagena, who was riding her tricycle when she was struck and killed on Porter Ave. in Brooklyn on April 4th, 1959.

This photo shows the death of gangster Frankie Yale, whose car slammed into the steps of a Brooklyn home after he was shot from an adjacent car on July 1st, 1928.

This photo shows the death of gangster Frankie Yale, whose car slammed into the steps of a Brooklyn home after he was shot from an adjacent car on July 1st, 1928.

The aftermath of a massive and fatal fire at the Elkins Paper & Twine Co. on Wooster St. on February 16th, 1958.

The aftermath of a massive and fatal fire at the Elkins Paper & Twine Co. on Wooster St. on February 16th, 1958.

Firefighters try to put out the fire that tore through the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary & St. Stephen Roman Catholic Church in January of 1951.

Firefighters try to put out the fire that tore through the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary & St. Stephen Roman Catholic Church in January of 1951.

The aftermath of a massive gas explosion that blew out the windows of the building on 66 Court St. on January 31st, 1961.

The aftermath of a massive gas explosion that blew out the windows of the building on 66 Court St. on January 31st, 1961.

Firefighters work to put out a blaze at 31 Grand St. in Brooklyn in February of 1946.

Firefighters work to put out a blaze at 31 Grand St. in Brooklyn in February of 1946.

Detective Michael Dwyer seen here after he committed suicide on Sunday July 30, 1950 in Prospect Park.

Detective Michael Dwyer seen here in Prospect Park after he committed suicide on Sunday July 30, 1950.

Gangster Salvatore Santoro seen dead in the vestibule of his Hicks St. apartment on January 31st, 1957.

Gangster Salvatore Santoro seen dead in the vestibule of his Hicks St. apartment on January 31st, 1957.

Firefighters put out a fire at the Fulton Fish Market in the South Street Seaport on February 26th, 1961.

Firefighters put out a fire at the Fulton Fish Market in the South Street Seaport on February 26th, 1961.

The photos give us a chance to see how much the city has remained the same in some ways, and changed (hopefully for the better) in others. Thankfully, crime isn’t nearly as prevalent now as it was when the vintage photos mixed in here were taken, but many of the buildings where the crimes, fires and car wrecks took place remain largely the same.

You can see more from Hermann by heading over to his website here. You can also dig through some of the old photos yourself by paying the New York Daily News’ archive a visit. And if you liked these photos, don’t forget to browse through some of the other then-and-now series we’ve featured in the past.

(via The New York Daily News via Gizmodo)


Image credits: Images by Marc Hermann and used with permission