Ghostly reminders of New York’s old buildings

Every building in New York has a story—even the ones that no longer exist, except as phantom remnants of an older, forgotten city.


I’m drawn to the faded outline of this little walkup in Chelsea. Once pressed against the side of a grand turn of the century warehouse or department store, it hung on for years, crooked and stooped.


I don’t know when this building, a perfect square with a tall chimney on East 31st Street, met the bulldozer. But I love that it refuses to be erased from the block.


This Allen Street tenement reveals the remains of maybe three separate smaller structures, probably taken down at different times.


How many people once lived and worked in this squat building in the West 40s, and what did they see when they looked out their windows? I wonder if they would recognize the cityscape of today.


On the side of a brownstone in the East 20s are at least two building impressions—two layers of another New York.

Check out more phantom buildings and their remains here.

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