Ghostly outlines of vanished city buildings

Many of the posts on Ephemeral New York explore concrete things that used to exist in New York City.

But sometimes, a building or house disappears without a backstory or even an address. It simply leaves behind a faded outline of what once was, and we’re left to wonder.


What kind of little house was this, with two chimneys and a pointed roof, once on Bond Street off Broadway?

In the mid-19th century, Bond Street was super fancy and exclusive. It must have been a lovely home.


This one above, which once flanked a cast-iron beauty, looks like an old walkup, on 23rd Street near Sixth Avenue, once the premier shopping district of Gilded Age New York.


Is this a doll house that was once sandwiched between two handsome midrise buildings on Crosby Street? Maybe a carriage house.


It looks like two or three different ghost buildings outlined against a tenement on West Eighth Street near MacDougal Street. At first I thought those were chimneys . . . but they’re just bricked-in windows.

More faded outlines can be found here.

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4 Responses to “Ghostly outlines of vanished city buildings”

  1. crumpet212 Says:

    palimpsests. I love these.

  2. FRANK M Says:

    RE: “…a cast-iron beauty, looks like an old walkup, on 23rd Street near Sixth Avenue…” I have a vague picture in my mind of the original building on that site. It was destroyed in a five-alarm fire on a weekday afternoon in August or early September of 1965 and has remained a parking lot ever since. Several firemen were injured in the fire.

  3. P. Gavan Says:

    How were these created? Were the brick buildings put up smack next to the old ghost buildings, and then the elements caused the brick to discolor over the years? Would love to know how these ghost images actually occur.

  4. Ghostly rimders of New York’s old buildings | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Check out more phantom buildings and their remains here. […]

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