10 Terrifying Images Of NYC In The 70s That Will Make You Appreciate 2017

Rob Grams Rob Grams

10 Terrifying Images Of NYC In The 70s That Will Make You Appreciate 2017

We’ve come a long way as a city, and although we love to complain, there’s no doubt that NYC has come a long way over the years. Here are some images of NYC from the 70s that will truly make you appreciate the way things are today. We get it, things aren’t perfect but it’s not like it was in the 70s. Check it out:

Leland Bobbé / Photographer

Before being known for bars and clubs, the Bowery was more known as a mecca for abandoned buildings and a large homeless population.

Camilo José Vergara Photographs

Prior to the 70s the Bronx was the middle class borough of choice. In between the late 60’s and 70s the borough lost over 30% of its population due to the middle class flight to the suburbs.


The Guardian

If you flew into NYC in the summer of 1975 you would have been welcomed be the above brochure. It featured nine survival tips for navigating the city; not taking the subway, not walking in any part of the city after 6 pm, etc.

The New York Times
Arson was a big problem in 1970s NYC. Many landlords unable to maintain their buildings would have them burned down in order to collect on the insurance.

Camilo José Vergara Photographs

In the 1970s The Bronx River was practically an open sewer. Things didn’t change until nearly 40 years later, when in 2007 towns in Westchester and the Bronx both agreed to stop dumping raw sewage into the waterway.


Camilo José Vergara Photographs

Pedestrians stand by watching a man passed out on the sidewalk on the corner of 172nd Street in the Bronx.


National Archives and Records Administration

Teetering on the edge of bankruptcy 70s Mayor Mayor Abe Beame holds a paper illustrating President Ford’s refusal to use federal funds to bail the city out. Bankruptcy was only avoided thanks to majour reductions in the number of police, firemen, and teachers.


National Archives and Records Administration

To prevent bankruptcy, police and fire services were eviscerated to save the city money. in 1975 1/5 of all public workers were laid off. Many crimes and fires were not responded to.


Wikimedia Commons

The Statue of Liberty surrounded by an oil slick in the spring of 1973.


Camilo José Vergara Photographs

Children in East Harlem traversing rubble on their way home from school.

Featured image source [Camilo José Vergara Photographs]